MIAMI (CBSMiami) Mandy Dawson once represented parts of South Florida in the state Senate. Now, she could will be spending 6 months in federal prison, despite a plea that she be allowed to be spared time behind bars.
Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Robert Scola to sentence Dawson to eight months in prison, but he shaved that sentence slightly and allowed her to remain free until she surrenders October 5th. She will also be on 2 years probation after her release.
Judge Scola told Dawson he had decided her sentence after weighing her public service and her medical and drug abuse problems.
Dawson, who now lives in Daytona Beach, suffered from addiction problems and was treated a number of times.Her attorneys say her addition to painkillers influenced her actions, and asked she be spared prison time.
Prosecutors objected because she allegedly abused cocaine while awaiting sentencing.
“I think it’s my obligation as a judge to impose a sentence that meets not only your needs and the government’s needs, but the needs of all our community,” the judge said/.
.Dawson, a Democrat from Ft. Lauderdale, pleaded guilty to tax evasion and failing to file a federal tax return on $82 thousand in corrupt payments in an influence-peddling scheme led by Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, a Hollywood eye doctor and lobbyist.
In addition, Prosecutors said Dawson simply failed to file tax any tax returns during a number of years she served in the legislature.
She must repay the government $29 thousand for back taxes.