A former state representative from Everett was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Boston to four months in prison for cheating the absentee ballot process in two elections in which he won. Stephen Smith, 57, a married father of four, will also serve a year of probation and must pay a $20,000 fine. He was ordered to report to a prison, to be designated by the US Bureau of Prisons, by May 21. US Magistrate Judge Leo T. Sorokin said in handing out the sentence that Smith had betrayed the trust of his constituents in Everett. “Fair and honest elections are really the foundation of our society,” Sorokin said.
A stoic Smith apologized to the court and to Everett, looking back at his family members including his four children in the courtroom, some in tears. “I am very sorry,” he said. “I hope and pray in time things will get better.”
A longtime public official, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2006, Smith resigned from his legislative post effective Jan. 1, when he would have begun a new term after winning an uncontested election in November. Under an agreement with prosecutors, he will not seek elected office for five years.
Smith had served on the Legislature’s Committee on Election Laws. He pleaded guilty in December to two misdemeanor counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.