A former claims examiner for the District's Department of Employment Services was sentenced to two to six years in prison and fined $2,000 yesterday for accepting money and drugs to speed up processing of unemployment claims.
Antonio E. Medina, 40, of 1437 Third St. SW pleaded guilty to a single count of bribery of a public official on Nov. 5, the day he was to be tried on charges that he accepted bribes from six persons.
He also had been charged with participating in a mail fraud scheme that generated about $17,000 worth of unemployment checks in the names of fictitious persons.
It was at least the third criminal conviction for Medina, who pleaded guilty in 1971 to manslaughter after he was charged with murder in the April 1971 shooting death of his U.S. Park Police partner. He served about a year in prison on that conviction and went to work for Employment Services a short time later.
Medina also pleaded guilty to drug possession in 1985 after he was arrested for selling drugs to an undercover police officer, but he remained on the job.
Despite his guilty plea in the current case, Medina has maintained that he was only "helping" people, a contention he repeated at his sentencing, prompting U.S. District Judge John Garrett Penn to deliver a solemn lecture about Medina's failure to accept responsibility.
Penn also said that tests showed Medina is "still using cocaine and heroin" despite a court order that he be drug free to remain on bond. The judge permitted Medina to continue on his bond until he is notified by the Bureau of Prisons where to report, which usually takes two weeks.
In a sentencing memorandum filed with the court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Betty Ann Soiefer characterized Medina as manipulative of Employment Services as an employe and even after he left his city job.
Because he was fired for cause, Medina was not eligible for unemployment benefits. Soiefer said Medina "engineered a way" to receive benefits by working for a local catering firm for six weeks, then applying for the benefits.