Sentencing for former Lee Police Chief Buffis delayed again

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SPRINGFIELD — Sentencing for former Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis, set for March 3, has once again been delayed, though no new date has been set.

The latest rescheduling comes as U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni is being asked to consider conduct beyond the extortion charge on which Buffis was convicted last year, when crafting an appropriate sentence.

Federal prosecutors filed the motion earlier this month and also asked Mastroianni for an evidentiary hearing regarding allegations Buffis stole about $31,000 from the bingo account of a Lee church between 1999 and 2007.

Buffis' attorney, Lori Levinson said she would object to the prosecution's motion and would be filing a response motion of her own to that effect.

Buffis was convicted in June on the extortion charge but was acquitted on seven counts of money laundering and three of wire fraud.

An additional charge of mail fraud, for allegedly adding cellphone accounts for members of his family to the Town of Lee's account was dropped at the federal level, but may still be taken up in the lower court.

Following Buffis' conviction, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen H. Breslow suggested Sept. 24 for sentencing, but that was changed to October 19 and has been rescheduled several times since.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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