- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - Sentencing has been delayed for a consultant who pleaded guilty to bribing the former head of Mississippi’s prison system.

Robert Simmons was scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport, but court records show that was delayed until Sept. 15.

Simmons pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge in February, admitting he paid thousands of dollars in kickbacks to former Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps and a county supervisor on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Bribery is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The criminal charge against Simmons says he began bribing Epps in July 2012 when consulting for a California company that supervises probationers and parolees. Prosecutors say Simmons paid Epps $1,400 a month of his $4,000-a-month consulting fee.

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