Scranton, Lackawanna County - Will a former longtime legislator from Lackawanna County go to prison on corruption charges?
That is the question as Bob Mellow is expected to face a sentencing hearing Friday morning.
Two court documents filed Monday by both prosecutors and defense attorneys are asking for different punishments.
Federal officials believe Mellow should spend two years in prison. Mellow's defense attorneys are asking for probation. Mellow faces the possibility of up to five years behind bars.
In May, the longtime democrat pleaded guilty to misusing Senate staff and resources. He pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and filing a false tax return.
"If you or I did the same crime, if you do the crime, you should do the time," Kelly Stolarik of Scranton said. "I don't care if you're 22 or 92, you should get what you deserve."
In dueling documents, prosecutors and defense attorneys have both laid out their sentencing hopes. The final decision on Bob Mellow's fate will be made by a federal judge.
"He should get more. He took advantage. He used the position he had. He took advantage of the people. You shouldn't do that," Ralph Montalvo of Scranton said.
In pushing for probation, Mellow's attorneys say the 69-year-old is a first-time offender, advanced in age and in poor health. They say he's already lost his pension and suffered negative publicity.
They also point to his 40-year political career and charitable acts.
"I think they're going to use that as a see-saw weighing tool but I don't think that has a whole lot of revelance when a person does wrong, regardless of how much they've done. The wrong they've done is what you need to focus on," George Dolack of Scranton said.
In his sentencing memo, U.S. Attorney Peter Smith said that Mellow showed an arrogant contempt for the law and set a terrible example by betraying the public's trust.
Smith says Mellow's actions cost nearly $80,000 in taxpayer money.
"Two years, that's a plea bargain!" Montalvo said. "He should be happy and walk with that. If it was someone else that didn't have his position, they probably would have got a lot more time."
The sentencing hearing for Bob Mellow is scheduled for 9:30 AM Friday morning at the federal courthouse in Scranton. Judge Joel Slomsky from the Philadelphia-area will preside.