"I'm ashamed to be here..I apologize for what I have done. I am here by my own actions I take full responsibility.."
Defense lawyers had argues that Mericle should get a much lighter sentence because he has been cooperating with authorities in investigations involving Ciavaella, Conahan and former Senator Ray Musto..who died this week. They also argued that Mericle saved the Wyoming Valley with his efforts during the Flood of 2011..
But Judge Edwin Kosik said while that is all well and good he had to go to prison..
"Your falsehoods are corruption...Your criminal conduct is very very serious. This sentence must show respect for the law and deter future corruption"
Dozens of people jammed the courtroom to show support for Mericle. They had no comment on the way out of court. Two did tell the judge that Mericle's life should not be judge on a mistake..that he's done so much good for the community.
Under the plea deal Mericle could have faced up to 14 months in prison...His lawyers say they will appeal the sentence. Mericle must surrender to federal authorities on May 14th
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.