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Kentucky Democratic party stalwart sentenced to prison

July 16, 2020 GMT
FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo, Jerry Lundergan, father of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, leaves the federal courthouse with his attorney Whitney True Lawson, in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky businessman and Democrat Party stalwart Jerry Lundergan, 73, was sentenced on Thursday, July 16, 2020, to 21 months in prison for making illegal contributions to the failed U.S. Senate campaign of his daughter. (AP Photo/Adam Beam, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo, Jerry Lundergan, father of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, leaves the federal courthouse with his attorney Whitney True Lawson, in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky businessman and Democrat Party stalwart Jerry Lundergan, 73, was sentenced on Thursday, July 16, 2020, to 21 months in prison for making illegal contributions to the failed U.S. Senate campaign of his daughter. (AP Photo/Adam Beam, File)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky businessman and Democrat Party stalwart Jerry Lundergan was sentenced on Thursday to 21 months in prison for making illegal contributions to the failed U.S. Senate campaign of his daughter, former Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Prosecutors said Lundergan, 73, orchestrated a scheme to funnel more than $200,000 in illegal contributions to Grimes’ 2014 campaign against Republican Mitch McConnell. They alleged he either paid for campaign services directly and didn’t seek reimbursement or paid costs through a co-defendant, Dale Emmons.

Lundergan was convicted in September after a monthlong trial. On Thursday, he was sentenced in federal court, while Emmons was sentenced to three years of probation, nine months of which will be served in a halfway house.

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Lundergan was fined $150,000 and Emmons $50,000. Lundergan was found guilty of all 10 counts he faced and Emmons was convicted on all six of his counts.

The men are longtime friends and well-known political figures in Kentucky. Lundergan is an ex-state lawmaker and former state Democratic Party chairman. Emmons has worked on campaigns for offices from courthouses to Congress.

The two men broke “important laws that regulate the integrity of our elections,” Robert Duncan, U.S. attorney for Kentucky’s eastern district, said in a news release Thursday.

Grimes finished her second and final term as secretary of state in January.

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This version corrects the spelling of Grimes’ first name.

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