Judge: Dixie's Driggers and Land must go to prison during appeals
Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 2:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 2:53 p.m.
A federal judge has told former Dixie County commissioners John Lee Driggers and Alton Land that they must report for prison as scheduled even though the appeals of their bribery convictions may still be pending.
Driggers and Land had asked Chief United States District Judge Stephan P. Mickle to allow them to remain free until their appeals had worked their way through the legal system. In denying the request, Mickle wrote that the former commissioners, "have not shown by clear and convincing evidence that their appeals raise a substantial question of law or fact likely to result in reversal, a new trial, a non-incarcerative sentence, or a reduced term of imprisonment."
Driggers and Land were sentenced earlier this month to three years and one month in federal prison following their convictions on bribery charges.
Mickle allowed the men to return to their homes following a sentencing hearing but told them they must report for their prison terms by noon on Feb. 11.
Land, Driggers and Billy Keen Jr., Dixie County's former building and zoning inspector, were convicted in August of conspiracy, soliciting bribes and lying to federal agents about the money they accepted in exchange for promising favorable decisions by the Dixie County Commission on specific development issues.
Keen was previously sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison and three years' probation.
Driggers and Land were the first elected officials sentenced in a wide-ranging, undercover, federal corruption investigation.
In all, six former Dixie and Levy County officials have been convicted in connection with the same undercover case.