Philly.com- Renee Tartaglione, scion of one of Philadelphia’s most enduring political dynasties, was sentenced Thursday to six years and 10 months in federal prison for bleeding more than $2 million from a publicly funded mental health and substance abuse clinic she ran with her husband, a Democratic ward leader and a felon.
U.S. District Judge Joel Slomsky scolded Tartaglione, 63, who sat at the defense table with her arms crossed and her jaw grinding on gum as he prepared to announce the punishment.
“It happens too often that people who learn how the system operates, and realize the dollars involved in government, abuse the process and feel like they have some right,” he said.
Still, the judge credited Tartaglione for the charity she had shown others for decades in her North Philadelphia neighborhood – one of the city’s poorest and hardest-hit by the opioid epidemic – even as she pocketed hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars meant to improve it. The sentence Slomsky imposed, which also included more than $5.4 million in financial penalties, was less than that suggested by federal sentencing guidelines for her crimes.