Scott moved from Texas prison to halfway house

Author(s): JOHN SRM1RN Date: March 16, 1990 Section: NEWS

Contractor Jimmy Scott, who was sentenced to three years in federal prison in September for bribing local housing officials, was released from a Texas prison last week and is now serving his final six months in custody at a local halfway house. When contacted at the halfway house Thursday night, Scott said he is eligible for release from custody after serving a third of his three-year sentence. Scott said he is serving the last six months of his year in the local halfway house.

"I had a three-year sentence and the Bureau of Prisons gave me a one-third date of one year," Scott said. "1 did six months at Texarkana (federal corrections center) and I'm doing six months at a halfway house, working like every other prisoner that goes there.

"I'm trying to do my best to pay my debt to society," he said. "I'm just trying to restructure my life and put it back in order. Thank God I am home for my children."

Scott said the federal courts have not yet ruled on a motion he tiled in January asking for a reduction in his sentence. The motion said Scott should receive a reduction because of his "substantial assistance" to federal prosecutors in an ongoing corruption probe of the East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority.

Scott referred other questions about his release to attorney Thomas Damico, who said Scott was released under routine Bureau of Prison rules that allow prisoners to serve the last six months of their sentence in a halfway house on good behavior.

"He was an exemplary prisoner over there and that's why he had this opportunity," Damico said. "He is now working in an administrative capacity in a business that his wife owns." Damico said Scott was released from prison March 7.

Scott pleaded guilty last year to bribing former Metro Councilman Gordon Curry and two former I lousing Authority officials in exchange for receiving a building contract.

U.S. District Judge Frank Polozola sentenced Scott to three years in prison on Sept. 2, 1989, and ordered him to pay $4,384 in restitution to the Housing Authority.

Curry is under indictment on federal charges of extortion, income tax fraud and bribery. He has pleaded innocent to the charges and is expected to go on trial this summer.

Copyright 1990 Capital City Press, Baton Rouge, La.