Former Virginia lawmaker released from federal prison

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — A Virginia legislator serving time for bribery and extortion has been released from federal prison after almost eight years behind bars.

News outlets report 67-year-old Phillip A. Hamilton headed home Thursday for six months of home confinement.

In 2011, a federal jury found Hamilton guilty of diverting $500,000 in state funds to a teaching center at Old Dominion University. In return, he was given a $40,000-a-year part-time job as the center’s director.

He was sentenced to 9 1/2 years but was released early for good behavior.

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Hamilton served as a Republican state delegate from 1988 until his resignation in 2009 after bribery accusations emerged. Hamilton maintains his innocence.

The newspaper says that while on probation, Hamilton will be allowed to work and have limited “social passes.”

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