It was incorrectly reported Wednesday that Seymour Glanzer, the the attorney of former D.C. deputy mayor Alphonse G. Hill, said Hill would be eligible for parole after serving six months in prison. Glanzer did not make such an estimate. (Published 6/27/87)

Former D.C. deputy mayor Alphonse G. Hill, who brought order to the District's chaotic financial systems, was sentenced to six to 30 months in prison and fined $5,000 yesterday for defrauding the city government by steering contracts worth $300,000 to a friend's auditing firm.

Hill broke into tears as he asked U.S. District Judge William B. Bryant for a "second chance so I can possibly put my shattered life back together and that of my family," and then stood quietly when his sentence was announced before an audience that included mostly courthouse personnel and reporters and a handful of Hill's family members.

The scene was in sharp contrast to the overflow crowd of city officials and prominent businessmen who filled another courtroom 17 months ago when former D.C. deputy mayor Ivanhoe Donaldson was sentenced to seven years for stealing more than $190,000 from the District government.

Hill, who also was sentenced to five to 15 months on a tax charge to be served concurrently, will be eligible for parole after six months, according to his attorney Seymour Glanzer. Court officials said, however, that Hill will probably have to serve 12 to 18 months before he is released. He is to report July 14 to the prison camp in Allenwood, Pa.

Glanzer, who repeatedly characterized Hill's crime as one of "conflict of interest," tried to persuade Bryant to release Hill on probation, continuing his argument even after the judge pronounced sentence in an unusual bench conference that lasted more than a half-hour.

"I don't think think a person in his position {should have} conducted himself as he conducted himself," Bryant said during the conference.

"I don't think this is a probation offense," Bryant said, "If people in his position walk away with probation, it is encouraging people to do things like that."

U.S. Attorney Joseph E. diGenova, whose office is conducting a massive investigation of D.C. contracting practices, spoke with reporters briefly after the court proceedings but limited his remarks to Hill. "The issue here is not retribution or revenge, but ultimate accountability . . . of those who have breached the public trust," he said.

He disagreed sharply with Glanzer's contention that Bryant should have followed new federal sentencing guidelines and given Hill probation or a short halfway-house sentence the guidelines recommend for those convicted of conflict of interest.

"This is not just some little conflict-of-interest case," diGenova said later, "this was conspiracy to defraud the District of Columbia government and that is in fact what Mr. Hill pleaded guilty to."

According to a government sentencing memorandum filed last week by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Eisenberg and J. Ramsey Johnson, Hill told a contractor he took kickbacks from "all my contractors" because "I take my money -- my tips -- whenever I can get it."

The sentencing document detailed much of the evidence the government would have sought to use against Hill if he had gone to trial on the entire 11-count indictment returned against him in January.

In return for Hill's guilty plea last month to a charge of conspiring to defraud the D.C. government and a tax evasion charge, the government dropped four extortion counts, four other income tax charges and a charge of failing to list a $3,000 payment from the friend's accounting firm on his government financial disclosure form.

The plea agreement, which Hill reached with the government on April 24 after the death of a key witness in the case, did not detail any specific cooperation with the government. Sources said that Hill is expected to be called before one of the federal grand juries now hearing testimony in the larger, separate contracting probe.

The government's memorandum included summaries of grand jury testimony given by D.C. graphics designer Curtis Hill, who had been expected to provide key testimony if Alphonse Hill had been tried. Curtis Hill, not related to Alphonse Hill, was found dead of natural causes on April 17.

Curtis Hill said that after he submitted a contract proposal in December 1981 to design the District's 1981 financial report, Alphonse Hill suggested the expenses had been underestimated on the award and wrote a figure of $15,000 on a piece of paper.

According to the government memo, Alphonse Hill then wrote $5,000, and said the total contract price should be raised to $20,000. Circling the $5,000 figure, Alphonse Hill said, "That's for me." Noticing Curtis Hill's startled look, according to the memo, Alphonse Hill added: "I do this with all my contractors."

Glanzer criticized the government's sentencing memorandum, calling it a "71-page diatribe" that prosecutors hoped to use to "sandbag Mr. Hill today when he is vulnerable and can't fight back."

Hill told Bryant that he was "sincerely remorseful," and said he was "truly sorry" for the "pain, hurt embarrasment and indignity" he had caused "those I care so much about," his wife and two children.

One of the "most painful" consequences of his conviction, Hill said, was that the "accomplishments I may have achieved . . . have been completely undermined."

Staff writer Tom Sherwood contributed to this report.