BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A Bridgeport city councilor who had faced up to six months in prison on campaign finance violations has instead been sentenced to probation.

The Connecticut Post reports that Bridgeport Councilor Ernie Newton was sentenced to 18 months of probation this week after pleading guilty.

John Stawicki, Newton's attorney, said as long as his client stays out of additional legal trouble, he will stay out of prison.

Newton's case dates to 2012. Newton's campaign collected enough small contributions to qualify for clean elections public campaign grants. Authorities say five contribution cards of $100 apiece he submitted to meet the program's threshold were signed by people who had not actually given the money.

Newton blamed campaign staff.

He was convicted in 2015, but the state Supreme Court granted him a new trial in 2017.

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Information from: Connecticut Post, http://www.connpost.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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