- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A former western Pennsylvania county councilman has been sentenced to 2½ to 5 years in prison for improperly using $50,000 from the trust fund of an elderly widow with dementia.

Sixty-year-old Charles McCullough, of Upper St. Clair, was sentenced Thursday by an Allegheny County judge.

Defense attorney David Pollock says the sentence “seemed heavy-handed for an individual who’s had 60 years of exemplary record and little indication that anything like this would ever happen again.”

McCullough had argued at his oft-delayed trial that he had the widow’s approval to use the money. But prosecutors say the Republican, who was charged in 2009, used the money to make political donations in hopes of becoming a power broker. The money was spent in 2006 and 2007.

McCullough was allowed to remain free for 30 days, pending appeal.

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