To Democratic State Sen. Vincent Hughes, a friend and political ally, seeing former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah get hit with a 10-year sentence was surreal and painful.

To city Republican Party Chairman Joe DeFelice, a political opponent, it was cause to celebrate.

"We welcome a lengthy prison sentence," DeFelice said.

He called Fattah "shameless," a "convicted thief who defrauded his entire district" and who owes his constituents recompense "not just from the money siphoned away by their former congressman through decades of poor representation, but from his establishment enablers as well."

Fattah, 60, on Monday was sentenced to serve 10 years in federal prison, and to pay restitution of $614,500, after being convicted of fraud and related crimes.

The sentence was less than sought by prosecutors, but still was one of the longest ever imposed on a congressman convicted of corruption.

Before U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III imposed sentence, he heard from people who in some cases had known Fattah for decades - who cheered his rise, celebrated his work, and mourned his fall.

"Congressman Fattah made mistakes for which there must be a penalty, but he also made so many good decisions for which his constituents and people like me can only have gratitude," said Lynne Honickman, founder and president of the Honickman Foundation. "It's also important to think about all the positive and meaningful things he's done."

Harris Devor, a constituent and longtime backer of Israel, said Fattah "developed a deep love for Israel, and respect and understanding for its challenges."

"I have never, ever seen a man more driven in terms of trying to serve his community," Devor said. "His whole focus was educating kids, educating poor kids, trying to help those that are less fortunate."

Hughes was among those in the courtroom. He recalled his friendship with Fattah, how the congressman became a political mentor - and a groomsman at Hughes' wedding in 2005.

He also recalled how Fattah immersed himself in the nuances of policy, on issues from AIDS in Africa to education in Philadelphia, and of his determination to help young people gain access to a quality education.

Was the sentence fair?

"I'll let the lawyers argue that out," Hughes said, adding that he was grateful the court did not accept the prosecution's recommendation of a 17- to 21-year sentence.

"For 30-some-odd years," Hughes said, "he provided a lot of public service, and did a lot of good for a lot of people, and a lot of that never really got told."

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@JeffGammage