- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - A former Augusta fire marshal has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for accepting bribes to not enforce fire safety measures at a nightclub.

Jason Beard was convicted in February in federal court of six counts of extortion and one count of attempted extortion. The FBI said investigators recorded Beard accepting payments from an Augusta nightclub to allow them to operate over occupancy limits on certain nights from June 2014 through January 2015.

News outlets report Beard was sentenced on Tuesday to 42 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

He will also have to pay a $10,000 fine plus $700 more for each of his seven charges.

Beard, who was with the city’s fire department for nearly 30 years, was fired in October.

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