Aide to Rep. Bachmann Sentenced in Office Theft Sting

Monday, 26 Aug 2013 06:28 PM

By Cathy Burke

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A former legislative aide to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., was sentenced to 32 hours of community service on Monday, after he was allegedly caught in a hidden-camera sting stealing money from the lawmaker's office, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Capitol Police arrested Javier Sanchez, 37, after another staffer identified him as the man on the videotape taking money from Bachmann's office on June 14. The cash totaled $200, The Star Tribune reported.

Sanchez must complete the 32 hours of service before Dec. 19 or face possible jail time and a fine, ruled Judge Juliet McKenna, a Washington, D.C., Superior Court jurist.

According to an affidavit, police placed the cash in two separate envelopes, one labeled "petty cash" and the other "birthday money," and put them in a desk drawer in Bachmann's office, The Hill reported.

Sanchez was arrested on July 11, and was charged with second-degree theft, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Sanchez pleaded not guilty to the accusation on July 12.

But he reached a "deferred prosecution" deal last month, The Hill and Roll Call reported.

Bachmann's office fired him after he was arrested.

Sanchez's arrest came about as part of a probe by Capitol Police into a string of thefts of memorabilia and other items from the Rayburn Building offices of Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., and then-Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., The Hill reported.

"I fully expect [Sanchez] to complete his service," his attorney, David Benowitz, told The Star Tribune.

Sanchez declined to comment Monday in court.


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