(St. Louis) (AP) – Roger Wilson, a Missouri Democrat who was elevated to the governor’s job after the plane crash that killed Gov. Mel Carnahan, was sentenced Monday to two years of probation for misusing money to make political donations.
The 63-year-old Columbia resident pleaded guilty in April to one count of misappropriation of funds from an insurer, the same day his federal indictment was announced. He admitted that he improperly steered $8,000 to the state Democratic Party in 2009 while serving as CEO of Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Co., a state-created workers’ compensation firm.
Wilson could have received up to six months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. Chief Magistrate Judge Mary Ann Medler cited Wilson’s otherwise exemplary record in nearly a quarter-century of public service in opting not to require jail time. She also cited the many letters of support for Wilson.
He also was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and $5,000 in restitution, and must complete 100 hours of community service.
Wilson was a state senator for 14 years, then served two terms as lieutenant governor. He became governor for three months after Carnahan died in a plane crash in October 2000 while running for U.S. Senate. Wilson, who left politics 2001, also chaired the Missouri Tourism Commission and the Missouri Rural Economic Development Council before taking over at Missouri Employers Mutual.