Farther north, ex-Providence, R.I., Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci Jr. since 2002 has been serving a five-year, four-month prison term following an FBI investigation that included accusations of taking bribes in exchange for jobs, tax breaks, and favors from the city.
And since 2003, the former Democratic mayor of Bridgeport, Conn., Joseph Ganim, has been serving a nine-year sentence after being convicted of 16 federal corruption charges, including collecting more than $500,000 in bribes and kickbacks.
In Kemp's case, prosecutors had recommended eight years behind bars. But U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson yesterday went beyond the recommended sentencing guidelines in issuing his 10-year sentence, saying the former city treasurer committed crimes that were not straight out of the corruption playbook.
"This is not just a case of Mr. Kemp getting dinners and tickets," Baylson said. "He stole from his church . . . a greedy crime."
Over the years, other Philadelphia public officials-turned-cons have received considerably lighter sentences.
In 1991, former City Councilman James Tayoun received a three-year, four-month sentence after pleading guilty to charges of racketeering, obstructing justice, and income-tax evasion.
In the 1980s, former U.S. Rep. Raymond F. Lederer and former City Councilman Louis Johanson received three-year sentences after they were convicted in the federal Abscam bribery-conspiracy cases.
Ditto for former U.S. Rep. Michael "Ozzie" Myers from South Philadelphia, caught on tape taking a $50,000 bribe as part of the Abscam probe.
In 1977, former State Sen. Henry "Buddy" Cianfrani received a five-year federal sentence following an indictment on 110 counts of racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice, and tax evasion.
Perhaps the only local pol on par with Kemp's punishment is former City Councilman Leland M. Beloff, who in 1987 was sentenced to 10 years. He was convicted of trying to extort $1 million from developer Willard G. Rouse in a scheme that involved then-Mafia boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo.
When considering corruption scandals these days, judges have greater latitude in sentencing, freed from adhering to strict guidelines following a U.S. Supreme Court case in January, said former federal prosecutor Jeremy Frey.
Even so, judges in less than 2 percent of cases since then have gone beyond the recommended guidelines, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Peter Vaira, who was Philadelphia's U.S. attorney during Abscam, said he wasn't surprised by Baylson's 10-year sentence.
"In a corruption case, you could get eight years without trying too hard if major losses are involved," Vaira said. Referring to the Kemp case, he added: "So I'm not surprised the judge moved up the ladder. The case involved some pretty outrageous conduct."
Contact staff writer Marcia Gelbart at 215-854-2338 or email@example.com.