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Morning Sun
  • Former Cherokee County prosecutor gets year, day in prison

  • A former Cherokee County prosecutor who extorted money and favors from a Galena adult club was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in federal prison.

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  • A former Cherokee County prosecutor who extorted money and favors from a Galena adult club was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in federal prison.
    Michael Goodrich, of the southeast Kansas town of Baxter Springs, also must serve two years probation after his release.
    Goodrich pleaded guilty in June to a single federal count of extorting money and perks from Sensations Gentlemen's Club in Galena from January 2005 to September 2007.
    U.S. District Judge Monti Belot said at Monday's sentencing that the case was troubling for all involved.
    "In your particular case — while I am sensitive to your family and your pleas — you sold your office, sir, and you are going to have to pay for it," Belot told Goodrich. "And you sold it cheap."
    Federal sentencing guidelines suggested a prison term of 24 to 30 months. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst had requested a sentence of at least 12 months.
    Belot noted that as a prosecutor, Goodrich had asked judges to put people in prison and heard pleas from defendants in his cases.
    "I have always felt natural in a courtroom," Goodrich said before sentencing. "I never thought I would stand here like this."
    Goodrich asked Belot that he be allowed to stay out of prison so that he could provide for his family.
    "I am sorry. If I could write it in flames in the sky, I would," Goodrich said.
    Goodrich also apologized for what he had done to his community.
    "I am truly sorry my actions brought this notoriety, ignoble notoriety on my neighbors," he said.
    Goodrich acknowledged in his plea deal that he received money and other perks from the owner and employees of Sensations. In return, he dismissed traffic tickets and other costs.
    The value of the favors Goodrich received from January 2005 until September 2007 was estimated at less than $5,000, prosecutors said.
    The former prosecutor declined to comment after his sentencing.
    Belot allowed Goodrich to report to prison voluntarily rather than be taken immediately into federal custody. He is recommending Goodrich serve his time in a minimum security prison near his family if possible.
    Goodrich's defense attorney, Michael Hepperly, told the court that Goodrich's judgment had been impaired by a drinking problem. He said Goodrich has been sober since March 2007.
    "He is before the court in a very humble position — a position he is not used to being in," Hepperly said.
    Since his indictment, Goodrich has had his law license suspended and will likely be disbarred, Hepperly said.
    "It is not good to be a prosecutor in prison at any time," Hepperly said.
    Goodrich's co-defendant, Timothy Schooley, was sentenced in July to two months of home detention and one year's probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. Schooley pleaded guilty to a single count of blackmail.
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