PITTSBURGH (AP) – A federal judge has denied a bid to reduce the sentence of a former western Pennsylvania police chief convicted of conspiring to create an unauthorized slush fund.

Former Pittsburgh police chief Nathan Harper was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay almost $32,000 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit theft from a federal funded program and failure to file tax returns.

Defense attorney Milton Raiford argued Tuesday that his 61-year-old client should have entered into a plea agreement and asked the judge to consider his repentance.

But U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon said the sentence was on the low end of federal guidelines for the crime. She said the lack of a plea agreement wasn’t an issue for the court to consider.

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