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Oklahoma pol sentenced for campaign fund violations

AP reports:

Former Oklahoma state Sen. Gene Stipe was sentenced Friday to five years probation for his role in a 1998 federal campaign finance scandal.

During the first six months of his probation, Stipe will be in home detention with electric monitoring. He must perform 1,000 hours of community service.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson also increased Stipe's fine to $735,567 -- triple the amount of the illegal contributions he admitted funneling to the unsuccessful congressional campaign of former state Rep. Walt Roberts, and the maximum allowed under federal law. Stipe and the government initially agreed to a $490,378 fine. Stipe also faces a separate fine from the Federal Election Commission.

Stipe did not speak in the courtroom, and declined comment afterward.

In court, Justice Department trial attorney Howard Sklamberg urged Robertson to sentence Stipe to prison.

"This is not a crime of somebody making a mistake," Sklamberg said. "It is a flagrant attempt to make a shambles out of the election laws."