Former Butte city judge Steve Kambich received five-year probation Friday in his sentencing hearing in Butte federal court.
Kambich, 53, pleaded guilty to felony bribery taking more than $13,000 from defendants in at least 10 court cases he heard between 2008 and 2009.
Montana U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen sentenced Kambich to pay restitution of $5,000, serve 200 hours of community service, with no less than five hours a week, in addition to the five-year probation.
Judge Christensen claims the sentence is ?sufficient, but not greater than necessary.?
In court, Kambich?s attorney David Vicevich, explained to Judge Christensen that his client has taken full responsibility, has been publicly humiliated, and has lost both his jobs.
?Mr. Kambich is the ideal candidate for a probationary sentence because his offense is non-violent, he poses no risk to the community; he has accepted responsibility for his actions,? Vicevich said in court documents.?He already has suffered great punishment through the public humiliation and embarrassment caused by this offense and the loss of public office, his other employment, and his loss of judicial and law enforcement certification.?
Judge Christensen asked both Kambich and his attorney why Kambich accepted bribes.
Kambich offered no explanation and said he is seeking counseling both with a physiatrist and through his church to get a better understanding.
Kambich's family as well as community members were present during the sentencing.
Kambich was facing a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000.00 fine.