FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky’s former Democratic Party Chief will go to prison, but he won’t have to report until next winter.
That’s what came out of a lengthy sentencing hearing today in a federal courthouse in Frankfort for Jerry Lundergan.
Co-defendant Dale Emmons was also sentenced. Lundergan received a 21-month prison sentence, while Emmons was given nine months in a halfway house.
Lundergan and Emmons were convicted last year of a scheme to funnel thousands of dollars into a 2014 campaign. Today the judge heard numerous objections to the pre-sentence guidelines, overruled most of those, then heard from many who pleaded to keep the two men out of prison.
Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove received 89 letters on behalf of Lundergan. One was from President Clinton and another on notebook paper from a formerly homeless man given a job with Lundergan’s company who still works for him today.
They, along with two of Lundergan’s five daughters, the head of the Catholic Action Center, and Father Jim Sichko talked of Lundergan’s character and responding to the needs of the community.
One daughter said putting Lundergan in prison would be equal to a death sentence because of COVID-19 and his health issues. The judge sentenced both to prison, both on the low end of the prosecutions’ recommendation. 21 months for Lundergan, and nine months for Emmons.
“But I am appreciative of the court of understanding the quality and character of my client Jerry Lundergan, varying substantially below what the guidelines would have recommended,” said Lundergan’s attorney Guthrie True. “But as the court noted today, we will be off to the court of appeals.”
Because of the COVID-19 concerns, Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove says both men will not have to report to prison until February of next year. Lundergan will have to pay a $150,000 fine and Emmons was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine.
Neither Lundergan nor Emmons were ordered to pay any restitution.