A Juneau court sentenced former state lawmaker Bruce Weyhrauch to one year of probation and a $1,000 fine Tuesday morning, for his role in a corruption scandal that swept the state legsislature in 2006.
Judge Keith Levy said he thought jail time was not an appropriate punishment in Weyhrauch's case, and suspended a three-month prison term which was part of the sentence.
"It's kind of an immeasurable, but significant harm," said Judge Levy of Weyhrauch's actions.
Weyhrauch accepted a plea deal Monday in which he plead guilty to a misdemeanor state charge of allowing people to lobby him, knowing that they were not registered, as required by law. The maximum penalty for the state offense is one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Under the agreement, prosecutors will drop a federal corruption case against him.
Prosecutors allege Weyhrauch failed to disclose during the 2006 legislative session that he was seeking legal work from VECO, when the oil-field services company was lobbying the Legislature on oil taxes.
Weyhrauch's legal team denied the claims, and essentially asked the judge Tuesday for no punishment at all. Attorney Ray Brown said Weyhrauch and his wife have "been through hell," receiving threatening phone calls to their home as recently as Monday.
Weyhrauch had little to say to reporters following the sentencing, beyond a brief statement:
“No citizen of this country should have to have gone through what I have gone through -- and what the federal government did to me, they could do to anyone,” he said. “I look forward to a bright tomorrow and spending time with my family, and that’s all I have to say, thank you.”
Nothing in the plea agreement or sentence says that Weyhrauch, an attorney, would have to give up his law license, so presumably he will still be able to work as a lawyer in the State of Alaska.
Contact Ted Land at firstname.lastname@example.org