Bill Courtright, 63, served as Scranton’s mayor from 2014 until 2019.

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — The former mayor of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was sentenced Friday to seven years in federal prison on charges that he shook down businesses for bribes and campaign contributions.

Bill Courtright resigned last year as mayor of the city of 78,000 and pleaded guilty to bribery, extortion and conspiracy. Prosecutors said Courtright took bribes from a company that had a contract with the city to collect delinquent taxes and garbage fees.

Courtright must surrender to serve his prison sentence by Oct. 30, The (Scranton) Times-Tribune reported. U.S. District Judge Malachy Mannion also ordered Courtright to pay a fine of $25,300.

Courtright told the judge Friday that he “betrayed” Scranton residents, adding: “As hard as I try, I can’t give you an answer why I did what I did. I should have known better.”

Courtright, 63, served as Scranton’s mayor from 2014 until 2019.

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