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Philadelphia Councilman's Ex-Aide Sentenced For Stealing Campaign Funds

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A former campaign aide to Philadelphia city councilman Bobby Henon pleaded guilty today to stealing from the councilman's campaign funds.

This morning, defendant Richard North III was sentenced to three years' probation.   He has already paid restitution of more than $62,000.

Prosecutor Marc Costanzo says North stole the money over several months in late 2012 and early 2013.

"He did it in various ways," Costanzo tells KYW Newsradio.   "He had a (campaign) credit card and he used that.  In addition to that, he took checks that were intended to be deposited into the campaign fund, endorsed them, and put them in his own bank account and used the money."

Authorities say Councilman Henon discovered theft and contacted the DA's office.

The defendant also admitted stealing hundreds of dollars from two roommates.

North says he used the money to gamble at the Sugarhouse casino.   His attorney says North developed a horrible gambling addiction.

north ltr 625x pt2 _hanson
(Photo by Tony Hanson)

In a letter to the councilman read today in court, North said he's ashamed he violated the councilman's trust -- "the trust of a good and decent man."

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