John Dote has been sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation for stealing almost $60,000 in political donations. And he's been ordered to pay back about $66,000 in restitution over those five years. Dote previously plead guilty to ten charges including grand larceny, money laundering, and criminal tax fraud. He was also ordered to not have any political involvement over the next five years. The judge said he wants dote to fully understand what he had done and the trust he violated.
After the sentence was handed down, Assistant District Attorney Robert Bauer responded to Dote's now disinvolvement in politics. "I think it's going to be to his benefit and to the community's benefit in the long run," said Bauer, "Someone involved in politics should be working for the people and not living off the people." He says Dote's punishment should send the message to any political officials and candidates to follow the rules, be honest and fair.
Bauer says that the Oneida County Independence Party still faces two charges related to Dote's case. Those charges are failure to designate a treasurer and unlawful use of campaign funds. That case is pending and set to be handled sometime next year.