Former US Congressman and Philadelphia political operative Michael “Ozzie” Myers was sentenced to just 30 months in prison for election fraud.
The Justice Department issued a press release regarding his sentencing:
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced today that former U.S. Congressman Michael “Ozzie” Myers, 79, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $100,000 in fines, with $10,000 of that due immediately, by United States District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond after pleading guilty to conspiracy to deprive voters of civil rights, bribery, obstruction of justice, falsification of voting records, conspiring to illegally vote in a federal election, and for orchestrating schemes to fraudulently stuff the ballot boxes for specific Democratic candidates in the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Pennsylvania elections. The defendant was immediately remanded into custody following today’s hearing.
In June 2022, the defendant admitted in court to bribing the Judge of Elections for the 39th Ward, 36th Division in South Philadelphia in a fraudulent scheme over several years. Myers admitted to bribing the election official to illegally add votes for certain candidates of their mutual political party in primary elections. Some of these candidates were individuals running for judicial office whose campaigns had hired Myers, and others were candidates for various federal, state, and local elective offices that Myers favored for a variety of reasons. Myers would solicit payments from his clients in the form of cash or checks as “consulting fees,” and then use portions of these funds to pay election officials to tamper with election results.
Myers also admitted to conspiring to commit election fraud with another former Judge of Elections for the 39th Ward, 2nd Division in South Philadelphia. Myers’ accomplice was the de facto Judge of Elections and effectively ran the polling places in her division by installing close associates to serve as members of the Board of Elections. Myers admitted that he gave his accomplice directions to add votes to candidates supported by him, including candidates for judicial office whose campaigns actually hired Myers, and other candidates for various federal, state, and local elective offices preferred by Myers for a variety of reasons.
“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. If even one vote has been illegally cast or if the integrity of just one election official is compromised, it diminishes faith in process,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “This defendant used his position, knowledge of the process, and connections to fix elections for his preferred candidates, which demonstrates a truly flagrant disregard for the laws which govern our elections. He will now spend 30 months in prison as penalty for his crimes.”
“Protecting the legitimacy of elections is critical to ensuring the public’s trust in the process,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Through his actions, Ozzie Myers pointedly disdained both the will of Philadelphia voters and the rule of law. He’s now a federal felon twice over, heading back behind bars, with time to consider the great consequence of free and fair elections.”
Additionally, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that he “emerged from the New York courtroom brimming with confidence that his conviction would be overturned on appeal” after the last time he was facing sentencing in a bribery case in the 1980s.
Saying he had little confidence Myers had learned anything in the four decades between his convictions, U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond sentenced the former congressman to 2½ years in prison and ordered him hauled off to prison immediately — a decision that hit the courtroom like a bomb.
Gasps erupted from the gallery filled with Myers’ family and friends. Some began sobbing, while others muttered quiet curses at the judge under their breath.
While one of his supporters called it a “death sentence,” it’s anything but that for this criminal. While it should be an actual death sentence, considering he was involved in treason through election fraud, it won’t be and the people will pick up the tab on his prison stay.
Thirty month is nothing for a man who sought to deprive the people of their vote. It’s barely over 2 years and I’m sure they’ll probably find him a nice comfy cell with all the amenities the people can afford.
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