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Former Jackson County Executive sentenced on federal charge

Posted at 1:31 PM, Sep 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-19 19:21:27-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mike Sanders, the former Jackson County executive, has been sentenced to more than two years in prison on a federal charge. 

District Judge Roseann Ketchmark sentenced Sanders to 27 months in prison with three years of supervised release. He was ordered to forfeit $40,000; he has already handed over $25,000.

He released a statement that said, in part, "I made mistakes, and today I'm paying the price. But I am going to work very hard to turn this situation into actions that are positive, constructive and meaningful, for my family, for myself and for this community."

Sanders, 51, was charged in federal court with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in January 2018 and pleaded guilty. He faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for illegally using thousands in campaign funds in a check-cashing scheme.

After his sentencing Wednesday, Sanders walked out of court surrounded by family. 

Sanders' attorney wanted the judge to recommend that he be placed at Yankton, a minimum-security prison in South Dakota, where Sanders, who now works in construction, can take classes to become an electrician or a welder. But the judge chose not to make any recommendations.

It wasn’t that long ago that Sanders was a rising political star in the city and state.

Sanders served as the prosecuting attorney for Jackson County, Missouri, from 2002 to 2006. He had been an assistant prosecutor from 1994 to 1997 before entering private practice.

Sanders was elected as prosecuting attorney in 2002 and reelected in 2004.

He then became the Jackson County executive from 2007 to 2015, earning re-election in 2010 and 2014, and also served as chair of the Missouri State Democratic Party from 2011 to 2013.

Sanders abruptly resigned in 2015, shortly after his second reelection and in the wake of his father’s death.

Sanders is expected to self-surrender Nov. 5.