updated 2/14/2007 10:59:39 PM ET 2007-02-15T03:59:39

A former Clark County commissioner was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday for delivering bribes to politicians on behalf of a strip club owner.

U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks branded Lance Malone the "organizer, manager and leader" of "probably as gross a case of political corruption in the state of Nevada, certainly, that has ever occurred and been successfully prosecuted."

Hicks blamed Malone for distributing up to $550,000 in bribes to three former commission colleagues from 2000 to 2003, and said he was imposing three years more than Malone received in a related case in San Diego. Malone will serve the sentences at the same time; he also was fined $100,000.

Malone pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy under the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations, or RICO Act, for the Nevada case.

In the San Diego case, Malone was convicted on similar charges that he delivered bribes to politicians there on behalf of strip club owner Michael Galardi.

'I did things that I regret'
On Wednesday, Malone, 45, told the judge that he had been greedy, and he pleaded for leniency.

"I did start with good intentions, and those intentions went horribly, horribly wrong," Malone told the judge.

"I did things that I regret and I wish I could take back, but I cannot," he said.

Malone becomes the third person sentenced in a case that grew from years of FBI wiretaps and led to indictments against Galardi, Malone, and former Clark County commissioners Dario Herrera, Erin Kenny and Mary Kincaid-Chauncey. The commission wields control over a wide area of southern Nevada, including the Las Vegas Strip.

Herrera, 33, is serving four years and two months in prison. Kincaid-Chauncey, 68, is serving 30 months. They were convicted last year.

Kenny and Galardi, who said he sought votes from the commission that would benefit his strip clubs, pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

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