Former Bayou La Batre Mayor Stan Wright is sentenced to 15 months in prison and three years probation. He walked out of court a free man, at least for awhile longer; a prison assignment hasn't been made yet. Wright says he has no regrets.
"I'm just glad to get it behind me, we haven't decided if we're going to appeal or not," says Wright. He was charged with selling land to the city and then hiding his profits by transferring the land to his daughter before the sale. Judge Kristi Dubose says that offense should only earn him probation. She says Wright's real crime was intimidating former police Captain Darryl Wilson when he cooperated with the FBI. She said she hoped the sentence would be a deterrent to others--but Wilson says that sentence won't scare anyone.
"I think it's an utterly ridiculous sentence, I think she just set every politician up here to be able to do whatever they want to do to anyone that ever chose to speak out," says Wilson. Others weren't happy with the sentence either.
"I don't think they took into consideration the actions he did to the people," says Bayou La Batre Mayor-Pro-Tem Ida Mae Coleman. The prosecutor tried to argue poor conditions at a low income housing complex were a result of Wright's corrupt dealings, but the judge said she didn't see how poor decisions by city leaders following Katrina lead to Wright benefiting somehow. During the sentencing it was revealed Stan Wright has more than two million dollars in assets. He was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and $27,300 in restitution to FEMA.