Former Gwinnett commissioner sentenced to 33 months in prison



ATLANTA - A judge has sentenced former Gwinnett County commissioner Shirley Lasseter to nearly three years in prison for her role in a major corruption scandal.

Just after 3 p.m. Wednesday a federal judge sentenced Lasseter 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.

In May, Lasseter pleaded guilty, along with her son, John Fanning, and Gwinnett County businessman Carl Cain, for their involvement in a scheme for Lasseter sign off on a pawn shop that the two men would use as a front for a drug operation.

Lasseter was facing up to 57 months behind bars, but at the hearing prosecutors asked the judge to consider the lesser sentence since she has been cooperating with investigators in an ongoing corruption probe in Gwinnett County.

Lasseter's attorneys and family members and friends, who, tearful at times, testified on her behalf asked the judge for even less jail time due to her long history of public service, but ultimately the judge said no. Lasseter did not speak at the hearing.

Meantime, prosecutors charged another Gwinnett county businessman, Mark Gary, with paying Lasseter and her son $30,000 in bribes for her yes vote on a controversial waste transfer station in which Gary had a personal financial stake.

Lasseter will report to prison as soon as the bureau of prisons finds a spot for her. That could take four to six weeks.

Her lawyers have asked she serve her time in a minimum security prison near Atlanta.