PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Disgraced state Rep. John McCauley resigned from the House of Representatives on Friday morning, just before a judge sentenced him to serve time in federal prison, WPRI.com has confirmed.
McCauley, D-Providence, hadn't resigned after the initial announcement in September that he would plead guilty to charges that he filed false tax returns and conspired to defraud the federal government of more than $500,000.
McCauley finally submitted his resignation on Friday in a one-sentence letter to the Providence city clerk's office. McCauley, who was first elected in 1990 and represented House District 1, had been a member of House Speaker Gordon Fox's Democratic leadership team as deputy speaker.
U.S. District Court Judge Mary Lisi sentenced McCauley on Friday to 27 months in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement. The judge also ordered him to serve three years of supervised release after he leaves prison and to pay a $10,000 fine.
"Being in the public eye you are held to a higher standard, whether the crime fits or not," McCauley said outside of court after he was sentenced. "Hopefully others will learn from my mistakes and don't make them."
If McCauley had refused to formally resign he technically would have remained a sitting lawmaker until the new General Assembly got sworn in on New Year's Day at 2 p.m. He also would have continued to receive taxpayer-subsidized health insurance through the end of this year.
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