Ex-Senate aide gets jail for steak knife incident

February 21, 2012 - 1:35 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former aide to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran convicted in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal must spend 15 weekends in jail after getting kicked out of her halfway house for bringing in a steak knife.

Ann Copland's attorney told the judge who sentenced her Tuesday that she mistakenly left the knife and a fork in her purse. He said her husband brought her a steak to eat while transporting her to a doctor's appointment from the facility where she'd been sentenced to spend 75 days.

U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts said there's no evidence Copland "carried any evil intent." Copland pleaded guilty three years ago to swapping legislative favors for more than $25,000 in event tickets and restaurant meals from Abramoff's firm, one of 21 people convicted in the scandal.