Any of you remember Rep. Mel Reynolds of Armpit State?

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Any of you remember Rep. Mel Reynolds of Armpit State?

Post  fortuna on Fri May 11, 2018 1:41 pm



CHICAGO -- Former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds of Illinois is headed back to prison for a third time in his ill-fated career after a federal judge sentenced him Thursday to six months behind bars for failing to file tax returns.

The sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman marked the end of a nearly three-year legal saga that has seen the former Democratic congressman jailed for violating bond, accused by prosecutors of launching a smear campaign on social media and reprimanded by two judges for failing to abide by the court's rules.

Reynolds, 66, who acted as his own attorney, kept his hands clasped behind his back and showed no outward reaction to the sentence. In his remarks to the court, he touted his service to the country, telling the judge he'd been unfairly painted by prosecutors as disrespectful of America and the judicial system.

"I'm still the kid who gets choked up when he hears 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' " Reynolds said.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, however, Reynolds said he was "done with America" and planned to move back to South Africa with his daughter as soon as he completed his sentence. He sounded a familiar refrain in claiming that the case against him was motivated at least in part by a racist judicial system.

"I'm going to do this time, and I'm going home to Africa," Reynolds said in the lobby of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse. "That's just how it is. I've given up on America because how long do African-Americans put up with this nonsense? No matter what you think of my sentence - or me - why is there such a bias when it comes to sentencing African-Americans?"

The six-month term imposed by Gettleman - well below the two years sought by prosecutors - included credit for two months Reynolds already served in custody. He was ordered to report to prison Aug. 1.

Once a rising political star, Reynolds had a spectacular fall from grace in 1995 when he was convicted of having sex with an underage campaign intern and trying to cover it up. While he was serving a five-year sentence in that case, Reynolds was convicted again for illegally raising campaign cash while in Congress and defrauding banks out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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