(CN) – The five-month probation sentence imposed on a former Chicago politician known as “Fast Eddie” drew sharp criticism from the 7th Circuit’s Judge Richard Posner, who said “it makes the offense just seem trivial.”
Former Alderman Edward Vrdolyak, dubbed “Fast Eddie,” pleaded guilty to mail fraud for scheming to split a $1.5 million payoff for arranging the sale of a downtown building, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Federal prosecutors sought a 41-month prison sentence, but U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur opted for five months of probation and a $50,000 fine instead, citing sentencing guidelines and letters of support from the community, according to the Tribune.
“What significance does a sentence like probation have – it’s nothing,” Posner said during oral arguments.
Posner also scoffed at Shadur’s reliance on the support letters.
“It’s ridiculous,” Posner said. “A person like this could generate a thousand letters.”