Feds Ask to Appeal Fumo's Time in Prison

He got four-and-a-half years for convictions on 137 counts

The federal government is asking to appeal the sentences for former democratic State Senator Vince Fumo and his aide, Ruth Arnao.

Fumo was convicted on all 137 counts of fraud, tax offenses and obstruction of justice. For all that, he got 55 months or four years and seven months in prison.

Before he was sentenced, his attorneys asked for special consideration, saying Fumo logged a lot of years as a superior civil servant and that he was in pretty bad shape, health-wise (although robust enough to hang out down the shore with family land friends and get engaged).

The sentencing guidelines for Fumo were set at a minimum of 10 years in federal prison. Judge Ronald Buckwalter shortened that significantly because of Fumo's good character, he would "grant a departure" from the guidelines.

"In my opinion, you were a serious public servant. You worked hard for the public." Buckwalter said he was influenced by the hundreds of letters he read, sent to him on Fumo's behalf.

Arnao was convicted of 45 counts and sentenced to one year and one day in prison.

U.S. Attorney Michael L. Levy filed notices of appeal on Wednesday. The cases will be reviewed and then the Solicitor General of the United States will decide whether to allow the government to move ahead with the appeals. That process usually takes a few months.

Fumo and Arnao are both out on bail. They report to prison on August 31.

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