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Two former Forsyth councilmen sentenced for taking bribes

Two Forsyth city council members were sentenced to federal prison Tuesday for allegedly asking for bribes.

Today in U.S. District Court, Desi Hansford was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution and given three years' probation.

James Calloway received a 24-month sentenced, was ordered to pay $7,500 and also received three years' probation.

In March, the two were indicted on federal charges of public corruption.

They plead guilty to receipt of a bribe by an agent of an organization receiving federal funds.

A news release from the US Attorney's office said Hansford and Calloway solicited a $20,000 bribe from a service provider vying for a city contract.

Calloway had been a councilman for more than 20 years. Hansford was a councilman for six years.

RELATED | Two Forsyth Councilmen Arrested on Federal Charges

Federal attorneys said their FBI investigation showed that Calloway was the "moving force" behind the bribes. He says his "sole motivation" was trying to help out Hansford, who he says had financial troubles.

The sentences were lower than the initial guidelines because in Hansford's case, the evidence showed he played a more limited role, and in Calloway's case, he provided information to help prosecute Hansford.

Both had no prior criminal history and told the court they've been embarrassed and humiliated by their actions.

Follow 13WMAZ's Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge

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