Kentucky’s former Democratic Party chief to be sentenced

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Federal prosecutors are seeking prison time for Kentucky's former Democratic Party chief when he is sentenced this week, but attorneys for Jerry Lundergan are seeking probation.

Lundergan and a codefendant are set to be sentenced July 16 in federal court in Frankfort, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Lundergan was convicted last year of orchestrating a scheme to funnel illegal contributions to his daughter’s failed 2014 U.S. Senate campaign against Republican Mitch McConnell.

A jury convicted him following a five-week trial on charges that he broke federal law by directing more than $200,000 in illegal corporate contributions to benefit Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign.

Lundergan’s attorney, J. Guthrie True, said in one court document filed last week that the correct sentencing range would be 21 to 27 months, but he also argued Lundergan would be eligible for probation.

Federal prosecutors say in court documents that the correct sentencing range is 63 to 78 months, and they are seeking at least five years and three months to deter such illegal conduct.

Defense attorneys say the unreimbursed corporate spending by Lundergan was inadvertent and only hurt his family.

Meanwhile, dozens of people, including former President Bill Clinton, have written letters of support for Lundergan.

Eighty-five letters were posted in the court file last week that noted Lundergan's devotion to family and friends, his devout Catholic faith, his success in business and his charitable giving, the newspaper reported.

Clinton wrote of his “deep personal friendship” with Lundergan, calling him “a good man with a big heart who has made a positive difference in countless lives, including my own.”

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari wrote that Lundergan supports holiday dinners for needy families.

“I have never met a more generous or caring man, he cares more about those around him than he does about himself,” Calipari wrote.