Sentencing again delayed for former Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis


SPRINGFIELD — It appears it will be some time next year before former Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis learns his fate following a conviction on a federal extortion charge.

Buffis' sentencing — set for Dec. 7 — has been pushed back for approximately one month, though no exact date has yet been determined.

This is the third rescheduling of Buffis' sentencing since his June 9 conviction.

Federal prosecutor Stephen Breslow suggested a sentencing date in late September, but that was rescheduled by agreement to Oct. 19, in order to allow Buffis the opportunity to attend his daughter's wedding in early October.

The sentencing was then pushed back to Dec. 7 after Buffis' attorney, Lori Levinson, filed a motion seeking to have her client's extortion conviction overturned.

In a motion filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, Levinson requested a new sentencing date be set, approximately one month beyond the Dec. 7 date.

In the motion, Levinson said she had not yet received a preliminary pre-sentencing report and they would need time to review it to see if there are any contested portions of it and to prepare for sentencing.

In the motion, Levinson said she conferred with Breslow and he did not object to continuing the sentencing date.

In June, Buffis was convicted in U.S. District Court in Springfield on one count of extortion for soliciting $4,000 from a Lee couple in 2012 in exchange for pending criminal charges against them being dropped.

The investigation into that matter opened up a wider investigation into Buffis' handling of a charity toy fund which he was running at the time.

Buffis was acquitted on 10 other counts related to his handling of the toy fund finances.

Buffis still faces a charge of mail fraud for allegedly adding personal cellphone lines to Lee's town account while he served as chief.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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