- Associated Press - Thursday, May 1, 2014

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) - A former Rhode Island state senator has been sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison for embezzling more than $160,000 from law clients.

Patrick McDonald of Saunderstown also was ordered Wednesday to pay the money back as restitution.

The 50-year-old told a judge he takes full responsibility for the embezzlement, which his attorneys had blamed on his former paralegal and mistress, Kimberly Gostomski.

She received a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to conspiring with McDonald.

Prosecutors say McDonald used the money, taken from real estate closings, to pay for things such as family trips, hotels and bar bills.

McDonald, whose law license was suspended in 2008, represented South Kingstown and Narragansett from 1996 to 2002. Authorities say he still owes $179,913 in campaign-finance fines.



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