Savannah > Convicted Police Chief Must Report for Prison During Appeal

| March 4, 2015

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SAVANNAH — Former Savannah-Chatham County Police Chief Willie Lovett must surrender to prison next week while his appeal process continues.

US District Judge William T. Moore ruled that he saw no substantial issue that would warrant Lovett’s release pending his appeal and will therefore be required to report and begin serving his sentence.

Lovett was convicted on charges of commercial gambling and conspiring with an admitted gambler and others to obstruct law enforcement over a 13-year period.  He was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in Federal prison.

Lovett’s attorneys had sought to allow him to remain free on bond pending the appeal to the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

However, Judge Moore would have none of it, stating that he “was unable to conclude that defendant has presented any issue on appeal that is likely to either result in his conviction being vacate or a term of imprisonment that is less than the time he would have served during the pendency of the appeal.”

Lovett’s sentence also includes a $50,000 fine and 3 years of supervised release.

The city is also seeking a way to avoid paying Lovett his $150,000 a year pension.  Because the arrest was after he retired, state law demands payment of his vested retirement income in spite of his corrupt actions while Police Chief.

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