RICHMOND, Va. – Prosecutors will recommend three years of probation and a $10,000 fine for the former executive director of Virginia's Republican Party who pleaded guilty to eavesdropping on a Democratic conference call.
Edmund Matricardi III, who served as executive director of the party from 1999 until April 2002, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of felony wire intercept.
Besides probation and the fine, Matricardi is also expected to cooperate with investigators under his plea agreement, prosecutors said.
After his sentencing on July 8, he will relinquish a number of civil liberties, including the right to hold elected office and the right to vote, said Paul McNulty, the U.S. attorney for eastern Virginia.
"This recommendation permits Mr. Matricardi to provide for his wife and two little girls and further continue his appeal that his conduct did not amount to wiretapping," said Steven Benjamin, his attorney.
Benjamin said his client never denied that he listened to an interstate conference call on March 22, 2002, during which Democratic legislators, party leaders and their lawyers discussed strategy in a court battle over legislative redistricting.
Matricardi also acknowledged he used an access code given to him by a former Democratic Party staffer to join in on the call. Prosecutors said he also recorded the conversation.
Matricardi pleaded innocent Feb. 12, saying the conference call qualified as an open meeting under Virginia laws. He can continue to use that argument in appellate courts as he pursues a motion to dismiss the charge to which he pleaded guilty.
He had been charged with two counts of unlawful interception of a wire communication, two counts of unlawfully disclosing it and one count of aiding and abetting. Each count carried a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.