By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
...It was a long and winding road, but the destination is in sight now...
From the Phoenix New Times, written by Ray Stern -
Former Arizona U.S. Congressman Rick Renzi was sentenced today to three years in prison following his June conviction on fraud and corruption charges.
The sentence was a long time coming in this classic case of congressional corruption, but Renzi, a Republican, will finally be doing some hard time. New Times was the first to expose Renzi's disgusting dealings in a 2006 article that preceded his 2008 indictment.
Arizona U.S. District Judge David C. Bury sentenced Renzi in a Tucson courtroom Monday, October 28. Renzi's buddy, real-estate investor James Sandlin, also found out today he'll be serving 18 months in the Big House himself.
While there may be a few political luminaries in Arizona who are as deserving of prison as Renzi, I can't think of any who are *more* deserving.
Anyway, in a just world, he would do his time in the federal correctional institution in Safford, AZ - so far as I can tell, it's the only federal corrections facility located in Renzi's former Congressional district.
In 2008, in preparation for this day, I published a post with the contact information for FCI-Safford; the information still seems to be current.
Now, maybe I'm being a little cynical here, but I don't truly expect him to serve his time in AZ, especially since his current residence is in Fairfax County, VA, just outside of D.C.
However, there's actually a dearth of federal correctional facilities in the D.C. area (Bureau of Prisons map here).
The closest facilities seem to be more than 120 miles away (SW VA, metro Richmond, VA, Cumberland, MD).
So that means the USBOP will probably get a little flexibility on where they house Renzi.
While Renzi has a bit of violence in his history, his history, and the charges he was convicted of, probably don't merit incarceration in places like Leavenworth (KS), Marion (IL), Atlanta (GA) or the Supermax facility in Florence (CO), places that house the most hardened prisoners in the federal prison system.
So what would be the most appropriate place to keep Renzi, someone who is used to being in the middle of luxury, in the middle of "the action", in the middle of *everything*?
Well, while there are some isolated outposts in the federal corrections system, I'd like to nominate FCI-Berlin (NH).
Berlin, NH, is a town located along the Androscoggin River in the White Mountains.
It is a beautiful area.
It is a storied area.
It is an "ass end of nowhere" area.
In other words, a perfect choice for the people looking for a place for Renzi to roost for three years.