HAMMOND (AP) — A former northwestern Indiana mayor was sentenced Wednesday to 21 months in prison on convictions for taking a $13,000 bribe from a trucking company and illegal tax evasion.

A federal judge ordered the sentence against former Portage Mayor James Snyder after a jury convicted him in March of seeking the bribe in 2013 in return for steering about $1.1 million in city contracts to the company.

Snyder, a Republican, has maintained his innocence, testifying during his trial that the money was payment for consulting work that he declared on his income tax returns.

Snyder’s defense attorney sought probation or home confinement for him, but Judge Matthew Kennelly ordered the prison time along with one year of supervised release.

Snyder first won election as mayor in 2011 and was removed from office in 2019 when he was first convicted in the bribery case. A judge later threw out that verdict, ruling that aggressive tactics by prosecutors denied Snyder a fair trial.

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