A former aide to Boston’s Mayor Thomas M. Menino was spared a potential lengthy prison sentence yesterday, when his lawyers and politically-connected supporters convinced the judge he was a changed man.
John M. Forbes, 31, a community coordinator for East Boston in city hall, was arrested in December 2009 for selling OxyContin pills from his kitchen, and attempting to sell 10 ounces of cocaine in an undercover transaction. Forbes said that his life was out of control, thanks to a 5 pill-per-day OxyContin addiction.
The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey M. Cohen, argued for a 51-month prison sentence, the same punishment that was given to a co-defendant, Lawrence R. Taylor. Cohen said that Forbes violated the public trust by representing city hall by day, and then selling drugs at night from his home — in front of his own children.
After he was arrested, he refused to cooperate with authorities, said Cohen.
Forbes’s attorney Rosemary Scapicchio, told Judge Richard G. Stearns that Forbes was rehabilitated by his 128-day stay at a drug treatment center, and asked for leniency. She said he “can be a source of hope for others” and that he planned to help others fight their addiction.
Prominent politicians, including ex-Senate president Robert Travaglini and city councilor Sal LaMattina, were among supporters that lobbied the judge for a non-prison sentence.
He faced a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. He was sentenced to five years probation and 1,800 hours of community service.