A federal judge rejected ex-Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges’ request to delay sentencing in a widespread bribery case at the Ohio Statehouse.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black said two new U.S. Supreme Court decisions that sided with individuals wrongly convicted in public corruption cases did not apply to Borges.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that federal prosecutors had overreached in a couple of cases. In one, ex-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s aide Joseph Percoco was sentenced to six years in prison in 2018 for accepting money from companies seeking to influence the Cuomo administration as it worked on a project to revitalize Buffalo, the Associated Press reported.
The Supreme Court ruled that the jury instructions were too broad in Percoco’s case. But Black ruled that wasn’t the case in Borges’ trial.
“In short, neither the government’s case nor the court’s instructions ever implied that defendant Borges was a public official, nor that defendant Borges, as a private citizen, owed and breached a fiduciary duty to the public,” Black wrote.
Borges and former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder were convicted of participating in a scheme to trade more than $60 million in campaign contributions for a $1.3 billion bailout for two nuclear plants in northern Ohio.
Black’s ruling means Borges will be sentenced on June 30 for racketeering conspiracy. Householder will be sentenced the day before. Both face up to 20 years in prison.
Both men are expected to appeal.
“We respect (Black’s) ruling and will take our issues up with the 6th Circuit,” Borges said.
Jessie Balmert is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio corruption case: Judge rejects delay in Borges’ sentencing