Convicted ex-congressman to remain free on appeal

AP News
Posted: Nov 18, 2009 5:25 PM

A former Louisiana congressman who was sentenced to 13 years in prison on bribery charges will be allowed to remain free on bond while he appeals his conviction.

Wednesday's ruling from a federal judge makes it likely that William Jefferson, a Democrat who represented parts of New Orleans, will not serve any prison time for at least a year or more.

The 62-year-old was sentenced Friday to the longest prison term ever imposed on a congressman for corruption charges.

The judge said that the legal questions in his case are unsettled enough that an appeals court could decide to overturn the convictions.

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Jefferson was the target of an FBI sting in which he was videotaped accepting a briefcase filled with $100,000 cash.