U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon also ordered the 61-year-old Harper to repay $31,986 from the fund that he spent on himself.
90.5 WESA’s reporter Deanna Garcia says the sentencing was not surprising for most people, but Harper’s family and legal team were disappointed.
“They [Harper’s legal team] were disappointed, they had requested no prison time, they had requested a combination of maybe work release, or home confinement, probation that kind of thing. So they did voice disappointment in the decision to sentence him to prison time.”
Garcia notes that there have been questions about Harper's safety in prison. But ultimately this sentence will send a message to other public officials.
“Judge Bissoon said that she felt leniency would send a dangerous message and US Attorney Hickton said the hope was that a sentence such as this would send a message and hopefully dissuade others from doing these sorts of things.”