Jailed ex-Pa. county commissioners lose appeals

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions and sentences of two former county commissioners from northeastern Pennsylvania who are behind bars on corruption charges.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday rejected a bid for new trials by ex-Lackawanna commissioners A.J. Munchak and Robert Cordaro.

Both men were convicted in June 2011 of extorting bribes from contractors seeking or doing county business. Prosecutors pegged the total amount of bribes taken at more than $400,000.

Munchak was convicted of eight counts and sentenced to seven years in prison. Cordaro was convicted on 18 counts and got 11 years.

The court ordered a judge to reconsider the amount of restitution that Cordaro must pay.

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