NEW YORK, OCT. 23 -- Former Brooklyn Democratic boss Meade Esposito received a two-year suspended sentence and was fined $500,000 today for his conviction of giving illegal gratuities to Rep. Mario Biaggi (D-N.Y.).
Biaggi, a 10-term Bronx congressman, also was convicted of obstruction of justice. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 5.
Both men were acquitted of the more serious crimes of bribery and conspiracy. They are appealing the convictions.
The prosecution charged that Esposito paid for three vacations for Biaggi and a female companion in exchange for Biaggi's influence on behalf of an ailing ship-repair company. The company, Coastal Dry Dock & Repair, was a major client of an insurance brokerage partly owned by Esposito.
U.S. District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein also sentenced Esposito, 80, to two years probation and 500 hours of community service.
However, he said a prison sentence would be inappropriate because of Esposito's age, poor health and the poor health of his wife. He said one mitigating factor was Esposito's lifetime of service to the public.
Prior to the sentencing, Esposito made an emotional statement to the court. "I'm not corrupt. I gave my life away to the people," he said.