LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Former Congressman Jeff Fortenberry will be sentenced Tuesday morning in a federal courtroom in Los Angeles for lying to the FBI about illegal campaign contributions.
The United State Attorneys Office is asking a Los Angeles judge to sentence the former congressman to six months in prison, while Fortenberry’s team is asking for no prison time at all.
In addition to the six-month prison sentence, the government is also asking for two years of supervised release, a $30,000 fine, and 150 hours of community service.
Fortenberry was convicted of three counts of lying to the FBI in the course of an investigation into $30,000 in foreign national and conduit donations made to his campaign during a 2016 fundraiser.
The government said Fortenberry premeditated the plan and made a calculated decision to lie and mislead federal investigators. They also said in court documents he used his status as a lawmaker to intimidate investigators and he continues to not take accountability for his actions.
Fortenberry’s attorneys are asking for a sentence of one year of probation without a fine.
Their sentencing memorandum describes Fortenberry as a committed father of five and devoted husband and public servant. Their documents said sentencing guidelines do not call for imprisonment in this case and it is unwarranted.
The documents also said the government shouldn’t impose a fine because the conviction is not for a financial crime and lying to the FBI didn’t benefit Fortenberry financially because he had already donated the $30,000 from his campaign. It also said Fortenberry’s family relies on him financially.
The sentencing is set for June 28, the same day as the special election in which either Republican Mike Flood or Democrat Patty Pansing Brooks will be chosen to fill Fortenberry’s vacant seat in Congressional District 1.