Monday, November 28, 2005

Burkes Cite Family in Arguing for Leniency

After pleading guilty to one misdemeanor and one felony, former Sen. Brian Burke is due to be sentenced by Dane County judge William Foust on Wednesday.

In court filings from last week and today, he and his wife both lamented the affect the case has had on the Burke family.

"My life and the lives of my family will never be the same. ... My focus is on helping my family to heal and helping them rebuild healthy, happy lives," Burke wrote. "I understand the Court must impose punishment for my conduct. My only meaningful request is that the Court's sentence not unnecessarily impedes [sic] my ability to help my family rebuild and heal."

See Brian Burke's personal statement.

Burke's wife Patricia wrote of an incident involving a computer message sent to one of her children.

"It suggested that our daughter should write an essay about 'how my daddy stole millions of tax dollars from good law abiding citizens that trusted him while he represented them as a state senator,'" Patricia Burke wrote. "I felt as though someone had slapped me in the face and I was literally sick to my stomach."

"My husband is not the evil person some critics make him out to be," Burke wrote later in the letter. "We have already suffered more over the last years, and will suffer more in the future, than many criminals who come before you every day. ... All I can ask of the sentence you impose is that it takes into account the whole picture and not only the one that has been advanced by Brian's most severe critics. Brian pled guilty for a number of reasons. A key one was his decision that this needed to end to let our family slip into whatever obscurity we can find to build a new future."

See the letter from Patricia Coorough Burke

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