By Saranac Hale Spencer
Of the Legal Staff
Lorraine Dispaldo, co-defendant of suspended Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Robert Mulgrew, was sentenced today in federal court to 18 months in prison.
Dispaldo had pleaded guilty in April to charges related to a scheme to defraud the state Department of Community and Economic Development out of state grant funds awarded to nonprofits.
A former administrative aide to state Representative Bill Keller, D-Philadelphia, Dispaldo had been charged along with Mulgrew in allegedly steering to improper purposes much of the $397,000 awarded to Community to Police Communications to purchase communications equipment for the police as well as to protect law enforcement officers by purchasing materials to secure vacant lots and buildings, as well as $460,000 awarded to the Friends of Dickinson Square to maintain the square and the surrounding area.
“Dispaldo helped orchestrate the scheme to fraudulently receive and misuse Pennsylvania state grant funds awarded to nonprofit groups,” according to a press release issued today by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Paul L. Gray, of that office, prosecuted the case, according to the release.
Catherine M. Recker of Welsh & Recker represented Dispaldo.
In addition to the prison term, Dispaldo was ordered to pay a special assessment of $3,600 and restitution of $120,865 by U.S. District Judge C. Darnell Jones II of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Mulgrew has yet to be sentenced.
Saranac Hale Spencer can be contacted at 215-557-2449 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @SSpencerTLI.