Mel Reynolds used to be a Democratic congressman from Chicago but now he’s “given up on America” after his third criminal conviction Thursday.
As Fox News reports, Reynolds says he is planning to move to Africa when he gets out of prison after his latest six-month stint.
Judge Robert Gettleman convicted Reynolds, 66, of tax fraud after the ex-politician did not report more than $400,000 in income earned from consulting work for Chicago businessman working in Zimbabwe.
While sentencing, the judge also lectured Reynolds about how his life had taken an unfortunate turn.
“It’s a tragedy that you squandered the opportunities you had and the type of person you could have become,” Gettleman said.
In addition to being a Harvard graduate and Rhodes Scholar, Reynolds was a one-term representative for Illinois’ second congressional district from 1993 to 1995.
Reynolds decided to represent himself at the trial and suggested during sentencing proceedings that his prior legal issues shuldn’t affect his current conviction. His other convictions were for statutory rape and misappropriation of federal funds to pay for his election expenses.
“The question is, How long does a person have to pay for mistakes?” Reynolds asked the court.
He suggested he didn’t need any more time in jail to contemplate this life.
“To put me in jail serves what purpose?” he asked the judge. “To teach me a lesson? … I’ve been taught about this racist society…every day of my life.”
The judge decided that six months would be sufficient, not to consider alleged societal racism, but to “give you some time to think where you go from here.”
Reynolds has already made up mind where he would be going.
“I’m going home to Africa,” he said. “I’ve given up on America because how long do African-Americans put up with this nonsense?”