Ex-Bachmann aide sentenced to 32 hours of community service

A former aide to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was sentenced Monday to 32 hours of community service for his alleged role in a series of thefts.

Javier Sanchez, a former legislative aide to Bachmann, reached a deferred prosecution with the government after pleading not guilty to the misdemeanor theft charge last month. As part of the deal, Sanchez agreed to complete the community service by Dec. 19.

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A judge with the Superior Court for the District of Columbia handed down the sentence to Sanchez, 37, who did not make any remarks after the decision was reached.

If Sanchez is arrested or fails to finish the community service by the set deadline, the government has the right to prosecute him further.

The maximum sentence Sanchez could have received, without the agreement, was 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

U.S. Capitol Police officers announced Sanchez’s arrest in July. After Bachmann’s staff reported two thefts earlier this year, police conducted a sting operation, placing a hidden surveillance camera at the desk of Bachmann’s chief of staff in the lawmaker’s Rayburn office.

In one of the desk’s drawers, police put two envelopes labeled “petty cash” and “birthday money” filled with a total of $200, according to an affidavit.

Video of the theft shows a man stealing the money, and Bachmann’s staff reportedly identified the man as Sanchez.

Sanchez, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge last month and denied ever stealing the money.