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Former state. Sen. Phil Griego gets 18 months in prison

Former State Sen. Phil Griego was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison and fined $47,000 for his conviction of bribery and fraud charges.

The sentence by state District Court Judge Brett Lovelace was less than the 10 years that prosecutors from the New Mexico Attorney General's Office had asked for. But Griego, 69, told the judge that he wasn't a criminal and that he didn't deserve any prison time.

In November, a state court jury convicted Griego of five crimes, including bribery and fraud. The case revolved around a $50,000 broker’s fee Griego collected after helping on legislation that authorized the sale of state property to a downtown Santa Fe hotel.

According to prosecutors, in 2013, Griego helped Ira Seret, owner of the Inn of the Five Graces, buy a state-owned building on De Vargas Street across from his hotel. Griego recruited a sponsor for legislation to get the sale through, which the state Legislature approved in 2014. But Griego didn't tell anyone of his involvement in the deal, nor of this $50,000 broker fee, until after the legislation had passed.

Griego resigned from the Senate in 2015 after lawmakers had launched an ethics investigation into the real estate deal and Griego's role in it.

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