By Larry Neumeister
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, March 14, 2000
NEW YORK --
The political director for ousted Teamsters President Ron Carey
was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison by a judge who
credited him for good deeds done prior to his embezzlement and
U.S. District Judge Thomas
P. Griesa said it would be "unreasonable and unmerciful"
not to credit William W. Hamilton for his devotion to public service
and civil rights throughout a 30-year career.
The judge said he strayed somewhat
from the federal sentencing guidelines calling for a nearly four-year
prison term as he is permitted to do for extraordinary public
Hamilton was convicted of authorizing
$885,000 in contributions to four political organizations in 1996
in exchange for contributions to Carey's 1996 re-election campaign.
Prosecutors said the contributions were staggering considering
the union was nearly broke.
Carey narrowly defeated James
P. Hoffa in the election, which was overturned after investigators
found Carey's campaign improperly benefited from donations the
union made to organizations. "Mr. Hamilton did not
initiate that concept but he agreed to play a role in it and his
role was crucial," Griesa said. "He was, in effect,
Hamilton, 57, was convicted
in November of embezzlement, mail and wire fraud and perjury.
He told Griesa that his crimes were meant to help keep the union
out of the hands of those who had corrupted it in the past.
"Sometimes when you try
to do something you believe in deeply, you do dumb things, you
cross the line, you overreach," he said. "I am ashamed
and deeply angry at myself," he said.
© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press