Mackey, 50, of Strawberry Mansion, who pleaded guilty in September to the wire-fraud scheme, was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in a federal lockup and ordered to pay $142,000 in restitution.
He apologized for "taking money I should not have taken" but asked U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis to impose a sentence of house arrest and probation.
Mackey began to cry and said he didn't want to let down the 7-year-old boy named Khalil whom he watches over as his son. Federal defender Maranna Meehan said Mackey took the boy under his wing after his biological mother abandoned him days after his birth.
She said Mackey had long been a positive role model for at-risk youth in North Philadelphia but was a "flawed" steward of City Wide's finances. "He was not living a lavish lifestyle," she said.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Foa said that Mackey had "betrayed" the trust of the community and that his crimes were "deliberate and intentional" and not the result of a lack of financial acumen.
Davis said he had to balance Mackey's prior history of good community works with his more recent history of thievery.
"Running good programs and helping people doesn't give you authority to do whatever you want," the judge said. "If you're going to be a leader, you need to be responsible and do the right things."
Mackey must report to prison Oct. 15.
Contact Michael Hinkelman at email@example.com or 215-854-2656. Follow him on Twitter @MHinkelman.