Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 08/06/2012 08:57:54 AM PDT
RIVERSIDE – Former Upland Mayor John Pomierski was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a federal bribery charge.
Pomierski was sentenced during a hearing at U.S. District Court in Riverside for accepting a $5,000 payment from the property owner of Chronic Cantina restaurant in Upland in exchange for helping him obtain a conditional use permit.
“We’re disappointed. It could have been better, but he did great, and now it’s time to go on with life,” said Robert Schauer, Pomierski’s friend and personal attorney.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office was requesting a 2 1/2- to 3-year sentence, while Pomierski’s attorney was seeking just over a year in prison.
“It’s in the middle,” said H. Dean Steward, Pomierski’s attorney.
Steward has requested Pomierski be sent to federal prison camp in Taft in Kern County.
Steward said Pomierski could get his sentence reduced for good behavior in prison.
Pomierski will participate in an alcohol rehabilitation program for six to eight months of his sentence, which also could knock time off his sentence, Steward said.
After his prison time, he will have a year of supervised release.
Pomierski is required to surrender himself to prison authorities by noon Oct. 1.
He resigned from his mayoral seat in February 2011. He was named in 10 counts of an 11-count indictment in March 2011. Pomierski plead guilty as part of a plea agreement to one count of bribery.
The remaining counts were dropped during sentencing.
Pomierski read a letter to the court apologizing to his friends, family, fellow church members and citizens of Upland for his crime.
“The last two years have been difficult. I lost my wife, lost my friends, lost work and the job I loved the most, being mayor of Upland,” Pomierski said. “I was dead wrong. I know I will pay for it. I already have paid for it in the last two years in some way, shape or form.”
More than 100 letters in Pomierski’s support had been sent to the court.
A couple of dozen supporters were present during Pomierski’s hearing Monday.
The City Council, including Pomierski, revoked Chronic Cantina’s conditional use permit in April 2009 based on an alleged increase in crime.
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