Judge Rejects Request To Postpone Mass Sentencing

Thursday, September 6th 2007, 9:09 am
By: News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) -- A federal judge in Muskogee has denied a request to delay the sentencing of former state Rep. Mike Mass.

Mass, of Hartshorne, has pleaded guilty to felony charges and is cooperating with federal prosecutors. But he is appealing appeals an issue that could determine how much time he serves in prison.

The judge denied Mass' request for a stay and said he will set a sentencing date. Mass admitted taking kickbacks from businessman Steve Phipps and earmarking state money for Phipps' dog food plant and gambling machine company, both in McAlester.

Mass, free on a personal recognizance bond, faces up to five years in prison. He agreed during his guilty plea to cooperate fully with an ongoing investigation of political corruption.

But federal prosecutors say Mass wasn't very helpful in the investigation.