Ex-Los Angeles Union Chieftain Gets Jail Sentence

Janett Humphries hasn’t had much to look forward to over the last several months.  She was convicted in the fall on conspiracy and perjury charges for diverting about $36,000 in funds from her union, Service Employees International Union Local 99, toward the successful 2003 Los Angeles City Council campaign run by ally Martin Ludlow.  And her psychiatrist has confirmed that she has Alzheimer’s disease.  Lawyers for Humphries, 63, argued for leniency at her sentencing hearing, claiming she could not withstand any jail time.  Los Angeles Municipal Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus wasn’t quite swayed.  On December 14, he gave Humphries a six-month sentence. 

Marcus originally had planned to give Humphries a one-year sentence, but reduced it upon hearing of her medical condition.  Still, he balked at the idea of no sentence at all, as it would send a message that breaking the law is acceptable in order to win an election.  “I listened to the doctor, and I have not concluded her condition is life-threatening,” he said.  “People are sentenced to jail every day with worse medical problems.  I acknowledge she has Alzheimer’s but don’t believe she can’t go to jail.”  Humphries faces sentencing on separate federal embezzlement charges to which she already has pleaded guilty.  Ludlow, for his part, pleaded guilty back in April to conspiracy to violate the City of Los Angeles’ $500 limit on campaign contributions and was sentenced to three years probation.  He also stepped down from his post as head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, a position he took after resigning his City Council post in 2005.  (Los Angeles Times, 12/15/06).