Judge says no early release for former RI lawmaker

Providence, R.I. – A federal judge says a former Rhode Island lawmaker who pleaded guilty to corruption charges must remain behind bars.

Former House Majority Leader Gerard Martineau had asked U.S. District Judge Mary Lisi to shorten his sentence.

Martineau cited a state Supreme Court opinion last year that said state lawmakers can't be prosecuted for improper votes. But Lisi ruled that the state court decision had no bearing on his federal case.

Martineau had admitted taking votes to benefit the CVS pharmacy chain and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island at the same time he was doing business with them. He was sentenced in February 2008 to just over three years in prison.