Man Who Gave Reporter FBI Tape Sentenced

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(AP) An attorney who gave a TV reporter a secret FBI videotape from an investigation into City Hall corruption was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison.

Joseph Bevilacqua Jr. also must serve three years of supervised release and pay $152,000, the cost of the government’s investigation into who leaked the tape.

Reporter Jim Taricani served four months of home confinement for refusing to reveal Bevilacqua as his source. He was freed in April.

The video, which showed a mayoral aide taking a bribe, was part of a City Hall corruption investigation that eventually sent Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. and the aide to prison. A judge had barred anyone connected to the case from releasing any tapes.

Bevilacqua pleaded guilty in May to violating a court order by giving the tape to the reporter, then lying about it under oath. He was disbarred earlier this year.

In court papers filed before the hearing, Bevilacqua’s lawyer, Thomas Tarro, recommended a sentence of probation, saying his client had already lost his livelihood after being disbarred and that he had been hurt by media coverage of the case.

Prosecutors said Bevilacqua continued to refuse to say he was the source of the tape years after he leaked it, indicating it was not a temporary lapse in judgment. They requested an 18-month sentence.

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