GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - On Tuesday, a federal judge sentenced the son of a former Gwinnett County commissioner involved in a bribery scandal.
Shirley Lasseter's son, John Fanning, 34, will serve just under five years in prison for conspiracy and drug trafficking charges. Gwinnett County businessman Carl Cain was also sentenced to just under five years in prison.
Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh was in court when Fanning gave a tearful apology. Fanning's brother, Justin, told the court his brother is a loving father and asked for house arrest but was denied.
Inside the courtroom, both Fanning and Cain's attorney made emotional pleas for their clients.
Cain's attorney argued his client needed the money for his sick granddaughter's medical bills. He also said Cain was a Vietnam veteran who once received the Bronze Star.
John Fanning said his decisions cost him everything he's loved.
"He's going away for 57 months. He's going to be without his
children, who are going to be in their formative years," said Bill Thomas, Fanning's attorney.
Outside court, Fanning's attorney said he believed his client deserved a shorter sentence because of his supposed lesser role.
"Mr. Fanning didn't plan these activities. He didn't handle the logistics," Thomas said.
Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway was in the courtroom to see the latest corruption case come to an end.
"I think we have a lot of public officials that get up every day and do the right thing and do what's right for the citizens of Gwinnett," Conway said.
The sheriff hopes the sentencing will send a message that public corruption will be rooted out.
He and the U.S. Attorney's office continue to say the Gwinnett County corruption case continues.
"You have to get through the chapter to end the book. And, hopefully the corruption book will end soon," Conway said.
Lasseter was also in court with family members. Earlier this month, she was sentenced to 33 months in prison for accepting more than $35,000 in bribes in exchange for a yes vote on a land deal that was actually a federal sting operation.
Lasseter, Fanning and Cain pleaded guilty in May for their involvement in a scheme for Lasseter sign off to a pawn shop that the two men would use as a front for a drug operation.