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Former Niagara Falls mayor heads to prison

Vince Anello and Joel Daniels
Vince Anello and Joel Daniels

By Eileen Buckley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-941385.mp3

Niagara Falls, NY – The former mayor of the City of Niagara Falls will be spending a little more than a year behind bars. As WBFO'S Eileen Buckley reports, 64-year old Vince Anello was sentenced in Federal court Monday for filing false time sheets with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Anello appeared before U.S. District Judge William Skretny. Anello had pleaded guilty to the federal charges in September. Anello was fraudulently receiving his union pension.

Under union rules, he could only work part-time as an electrician. But investigators learned that Anello was falsely reporting he was part-time while working full-time as the Falls mayor. Assistant U.S. attorney Paul Campana prosecuted this case.

"The sentence was 13 months total, followed by two years of supervised released. The judge ordered Mr. Anello to make restitution in the amount he still owes the union. That would be $45,403," said Campana.

Anello performed electrical work for well-known Seneca business man Joe Anderson of Smokin' Joe Anderson. Anello also admitted he received $40,000 in secret payments from Anderson, while successfully running for Mayor in 2003. Then 2004 an Anderson-owned company was awarded a lease with the city for the East Pedestrian Mall based upon Anello's recommendation.

At his sentencing, Anello became emotional, telling the judge he was to blame for his actions and apologized.

Campana says the government wasn't surprised by Anello's comments.

"That had been kind of forecast in some pre-trial or pre-sentence submissions. So Mr. Anello's remarks were pretty much in line with what we expected," said Campana.

Defense attorney Joel Daniels told reporters he hopes his client will be released after serving 11-months for good behavior.