Schrenko sentenced

By  | 

Watch News 12 Midday, News 12 First at Five, and News 12 at 6 o'clock for live updates from Laurie Ott in Atlanta.

She admits to stealing taxpayer money meant for Georgia children and spending it on her failing political campaign.

July 12, a federal judge sentenced Linda Schrenko.

Schrenko's sentence equals the time she served in charge of Georgia schools.

Linda Schrenko led Georgia schools as superintendent for eight years...and now, as part of her plea deal, it's exactly how long she'll spend behind bars for her crimes.

"I will be absolutely glad to put all of this behind me," Schrenko said on May 10, shortly before pleading guilty.

But there was one last public appearance for Linda Schrenko, the first woman elected to statewide office in Georgia: her sentencing.

In Atlanta July 12, federal judge Clarence Cooper sentenced her to 8 years in prison.

It's no surprise for Schrenko--that was the deal she and her attorney agreed to and signed off on May 10 before the very same judge.

In the agreement, Schrenko admitted to conspiracy and money laundering charges. The very next day she testified for prosecutors, admitting to her part in the scheme to funnel more than $600,000 in federal education money into her failing campaign for governor.

It was a long way to fall for Ms. Schrenko, who once headed up a $7 billion budget as head of Georgia's education department, and who was also on the short list for President Bush's Secretary of Education.

Now, she'll report to a federal minimum-security prison before summer's end.

Ms. Schrenko's former co-defendants will be sentenced in July and August.