A former president of a union for Howard University campus police officers was sentenced to 20 weekends in jail for stealing nearly $30,000 from the organization.
Kevin Jones, of the District, was also sentenced Tuesday to four years of probation and 150 hours of community service. He pleaded guilty in December to a charge of theft from a labor organization.
Jones served as president of the Metropolitan Campus Police Officers Union from mid-2007 to mid-2010. The union represents about 140 campus police officers at Howard University and Howard University Hospital.
During his time as the union's president, Jones made dozens of unauthorized ATM withdrawals from the union's bank account. He also used the organization's debit card to make nonunion purchases, which included a payment to a hotel in Dallas when the Washington Redskins were playing the Dallas Cowboys, as well as payments for a computer and parking tickets, according to court documents.
Prosecutor Vincent Falvo asked that Jones receive a sentence of between six to 12 months behind bars. He said that Jones should be incarcerated in order to deter other people from committing similar crimes.
"This case confirms the worst cynicism that the public has about labor unions," Falvo said.
The defense asked for a sentence that did not include any jail time. A lawyer for Jones, Carlos Venegas, said that his client was capable of being rehabilitated without being away from his family.
Jones has several children, the youngest of whom live with him. He lost his job as a police officer at Howard in December, and since then he has been doing maintenance work for a church and working in his brother's landscaping business, Venegas said.
In court on Tuesday, Jones said he was sorry for his "uncharacteristic" behavior.
"Please understand it was not how I was raised," Jones said.
The weekends behind bars will start on Fridays and end on Sundays.
When Judge John Bates announced the sentence, he said that he saw an advantage to Jones being able to continue to care for his family. But Bates also noted that Jones engaged in serious and repeated misconduct.
"You have received some leniency," Bates told Jones. "You need to turn your life around."