Former Harrison County Supervisor Kim Savant was sentenced Thursday morning to serve five years in federal prison and pay a $20,000 fine for accepting bribes from a county Utility Authority contractor.

Savant pleaded guilty in December to one charge of conspiring to accept monthly bribes of $1,500 from contractor Sean Anthony in exchange for Utility Authority work. Savant admitted that he took the bribes from January 2011 to January 2013 while serving as one of two supervisors on the Utility Authority board, which also includes the five mayors in the county’s cities.

“This is a very serious offense involving a serious breach of public trust by a public official,” Judge Sul Ozerden said before sentencing Savant, who will also serve two years of supervised release.

Ozerden acknowledged Savant’s years of public service and clean criminal record, but added that, “This type of offense threatens the fabric of democracy … For the court to not treat it seriously would compound the damage.”

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