Hamilton served as vice chairman of the House appropriations committee before voters ousted him in 2009 from the House seat he had held for 21 years. A jury found that the Newport News Republican steered a $500,000 earmark to Old Dominion University, securing a $40,000-a-year position at the university in return.
U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson’s 114-month sentence, delivered in a Richmond courtroom, is less than the 12.5-year minimum sentence federal prosecutors had sought. But it exceeds the eight-year maximum Hamilton’s attorney argued was appropriate.
Prosecutors says Hamilton, 59, is the first elected Virginia legislator to be convicted of selling his position for personal gain.
“Today is a sad day in the history of the Commonwealth,” U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said in a statement. “We hope his conviction and sentence will serve as a reminder to every elected official in the Commonwealth that they must uphold the public’s trust or face similar consequences.”