The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Avern Cohn
MEMORANDUM REGARDING SENTENCING
This is a criminal case. Defendant pled guilty to a violation of 18 U.S.C. §§771 and 666(a), Conspiracy to Commit Bribery Concerning Program Receiving Federal Funds. On March 10, 2010, the Court sentenced defendant to a custody term of 37 months, to be followed by two (2) years of supervised release under the standard terms and conditions of this district. The Court imposed a special assessment of $100.00. No fine was imposed, and defendant was not required to pay the costs of supervised release. This memorandum supplements (and repeats in part) the Court's bench comments at the sentencing.
The Rule 11 Plea Agreement accompanying the plea stated that the guideline term of imprisonment could not exceed 60 months, which is the maximum term of imprisonment for the offense of conviction. The plea agreement further stated that the Court was not bound by either party's evaluation of the guideline range. The plea agreement also contained a waiver of the right to appeal if the Court imposed a sentence in accordance with the plea agreement.
The Presentence Investigation Report recommended a guideline scoring for the offense of conviction as follows:
Base Offense Level 14 Value of Payments Received ($16,000) Elected Public Official Acceptance of Responsibility -3
The Offense Level of 19, coupled with a Criminal History of I, called for a sentencing range of 30-37 months.
As reflected in the record of the sentencing hearing, the Court at the time was under the impression the Probation Department had filed a supplement to the Presentence Investigation Report, which showed an increase in the Offense Level to 23 because of the inclusion of Relevant Conduct under Sentencing Guideline § 1B1.3. This increase was consistent with the position of the government as set forth in its Sentencing Memorandum (Doc. No. 152). However, this was not the case; the supplement was not the recommendation of the Probation Department, but rather a description of Relevant Conduct and the guideline range should the Court include Relevant Conduct in its calculation of the Offense Level.
After an extended discussion, including an objection by defendant to the inclusion of Relevant Conduct in the computation of the Offense Level, the Court did not include Relevant Conduct in its guideline calculation of the Offense Level.*fn1
The Court imposed a sentence at the top of the guideline range of 30-37 months. The reasons as stated on the record follow:
[T]he Court has considered the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. 3553(a). Not each of the factors is relevant to the sentence. What is relevant is the nature and circumstances of the offense [of conviction]...the need for the sentence imposed to reflect the seriousness of the offense; the need to promote respect for the law and to [provide] just punishment for the offense; to afford adequate deterrence to other public officials who use their positions to enrich themselves. Because of the impact the transgressions of the defendant has had on the people of Detroit as ...