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Former Chicago alderman gets 4 years in prison

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February 17, 2009 01:33 PM EST | AP


CHICAGO — A former Chicago alderman has been sentenced to four years in prison for taking thousands of dollars in payoffs and campaign money from developers who wanted zoning changes and other favors.

Arenda Troutman also omitted the cash she received from her taxes.

At her sentencing hearing Tuesday, Troutman appeared before U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo and told him: "With God as my witness I am not a monster."

Castillo told the 17-year veteran of the Chicago City Council that he knew she wasn't a monster. But he disputed her claim that she didn't know that some of her associates were gang members.

Troutman pleaded guilty last August mail fraud and tax fraud charges.