Councilman Kelly's Campaign Treasurer Gets Prison Time

Andy Teitelman, an attorney who served as Councilman Jack Kelly's campaign treasurer, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison this afternoon for bribing Kelly's one-time chief of staff, Chris Wright. His sentence also included a $5,000 fine and two years of supervised release after he gets out of prison. Teitelman's attorney had argued that he should be sentenced to a "substantial sentence of home confinement with community service" while prosecutors sought a 51-63 month prison term.

Teitelman was convicted in February with Wright and developer Ravinder Chawla.  Teitelman served as chief counsel to real estate businesses run by Chawla and his brother, Hardeep, who was acquitted during the trial.  Wright, sentenced in August to four years in prison, must surrender by 2 p.m. Thursday.  Chawla, one of Kelly's most generous campaign contributors, was sentenced three weeks ago to 30 months in prison and must surrender by Oct. 26.

A jury found that Chawla and Teitelman gave Wright use of a rent-free apartment near Rittenhouse Square and free legal services in return for his help on real-estate, zoning and tax matters.  Prosecutors said those bribes were worth about $20,000. Kelly, who was not charged, secretly recorded conversations for the FBI with Chawla and Wright during the investigation and testified during their trial.

Teitelman's attorney said he deserved a break because he received no direct benefit from Wright.  Prosecutors countered that Teitelman did not tell the truth when he testified in his own defense that he never spoke with Chawla about Wright moving into the apartment, a claim contradicted by other testimony. They also noted that Teitelman did not pay income taxes for five years until he realized that he was the target of a federal investigation.