Crime

Contractor Sean Anthony's public-corruption sentencing delayed again

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD 
 Contractor Sean Anthony, right, with his attorney, Joe Sam Owen of Gulfport, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Gulfport to conspiring to bribe two public officials in exchange for work at the Harrison County Utility Authority. He faces up to five years in prison.
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD Contractor Sean Anthony, right, with his attorney, Joe Sam Owen of Gulfport, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Gulfport to conspiring to bribe two public officials in exchange for work at the Harrison County Utility Authority. He faces up to five years in prison.

GULFPORT -- Sentencing is expected to be delayed a fourth time for contractor Sean Anthony, who admitted conspiring to bribe two public officials, because the prosecutor on the case, longtime Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruth Morgan, is retiring Friday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Annette Williams filed the request for a sentencing delay in U.S. District Court, saying the case has just been assigned to her.

Anthony did not oppose the request. Judge Keith Starrett has not yet ruled on the request, but such motions are generally granted when unopposed.

Anthony pleaded guilty in March 2015 to one charge of conspiracy to bribe former Utility Authority Director Kamran Pahlavan and former Harrison County Supervisor Kim Savant.

Savant, 65, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to accept bribes. U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden sentenced him to five years in prison, the maximum allowed for the crime. As part of his plea, Savant admitted accepting monthly payments of $1,500 from Anthony from January 2011 through January 2013.

Pahlavan also was charged with bribery in the case, but those charges were later dismissed. Pahlavan's attorney, Peter Barrett, said his client had been a cooperating witness during the FBI's bribery investigation.

Barrett argued the federal government had improperly used against Pahlavan evidence he provided in the case.

Pahlavan was accused of accepting two cars, New Orleans Saints tickets, hotel rooms, use of a condominium and other things of value from Anthony in exchange for Pahlavan recommending Anthony's company for contracts.

The conspiracy is alleged to have begun in 2006 and continued through November 2011.

Anthony's company, S.H. Anthony Inc., had a $3.5 million operations and maintenance contract with the Utility Authority that ended in January 2013 after the Sun Herald reported he had helped Pahlavan buy a car.

Prosecutors said Anthony's company has also done emergency work for the Utility Authority with Pahlavan's approval.

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