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Judge sends Ho-Chunk member to prison for bribery

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge has sent a Ho-Chunk tribal member accused of bribing a tribal legislator to prison.

U.S. District Judge William Conley on Wednesday sentenced 61-year-old Timothy Whiteagle of Black River Falls to 10 years behind bars and three years of supervised release. Conley also ordered him to pay $162,854 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Federal prosecutors said Whiteagle served as a consultant for businesses looking to provide check cashing and ATMs at the tribe’s casinos and tribal mortgages. They say he gave gifts to tribal legislator Clarence Pettibone, who in turn steered contracts toward Whiteagle’s clients.

Whiteagle’s attorney, Glenn Reynolds, said the sentence was too harsh and federal prosecutors should have let the tribe handle the case.

Pettibone was sentenced to five years in prison in July.

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