Former GOP Member of Virginia House of Delegates Sentenced to 114 Months in Prison for Bribery and Extortion
Phillip A. Hamilton, a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, was sentenced today to 114 months in prison after he was previously convicted of soliciting employees of Old Dominion University (ODU) for a paid position in exchange for introducing a budget amendment to fund the position, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia.
“Phillip Hamilton traded on his influence in one of the oldest legislative bodies in the United States for a paid position at Old Dominion University, netting himself approximately $80,000 over two years,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Today he learned that betraying the trust of Virginia’s citizens and his fellow legislators has a much higher price. For his acts of bribery and extortion, he will now spend 114 months in prison—an example to public officials and the electorate that the Justice Department will vigorously pursue those who abuse their public office. The Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and our partners in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices are committed to rooting out self-dealing by public officials and holding them accountable when they misuse their positions for personal gain.”
“Today is a sad day in the history of the Commonwealth,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Phil Hamilton used his powerful influence as a 20-year state legislator to extort officials at ODU and became the first elected legislator in Virginia to be convicted of selling his position for personal gain. We hope his conviction and sentence will serve as a reminder to every elected official in the Commonwealth that they must uphold the public’s trust or face similar consequences.”
U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson also ordered Hamilton, 59, to serve two years of supervised release following his prison term and directed him to self surrender to authorities on or before Sept. 19, 2011. Hamilton was convicted by a jury in Richmond, Va., on May 11, 2011, of one count of federal program bribery and one count of extortion under color of official right.