By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
Photo: Duncan and Margaret Hunter are shown during November 2015 Italian trip the government says was a family vacation financed by his campaign fund.
March 31, 2020 (San Diego) - Margaret Hunter’s sentencing for her part in the corruption case that forced her congressman husband from office may be delayed a month.
On Monday, government and defense lawyers jointly requested a continuance, or postponement, in the sentencing hearing of former Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s wife from April 6 to May 4 “or as soon thereafter as is convenient for the court.”
They cited a March 17 order by Chief Judge Larry Alan Burns of San Diego federal court suspending jury trials and other proceedings to protect public safety and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
A government sentencing memo had been expected a week before the April 6 hearing before Judge Thomas J. Whelan, telling how much time, if any, Margaret Hunter should spend in prison after she pleaded guilty last June in the case of stolen campaign funds.
Hunter, 44, faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine but is expected to get appreciably less, thanks to her cooperation with the government. Her original sentencing date of Sept. 16, 2019, was delayed several other times.
Two weeks ago, the six-term Republican from Alpine was sentenced to 11 months in prison — and must surrender by May 29.
In a statement at sentencing, the former 50th District congressman asked the judge to “take sympathy” on Margaret, living in La Mesa now.
He earlier said he agreed to change his plea from not guilty to guilty (of one count of conspiracy) for the sake of his three children.