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Case 4:08-cr-00212-DCB-BPV

Document 1308

Filed 10/22/13

Page 1 of 31

Chris Niewoehner (Pro Hac Vice)

STEPTOE & JOHNSON LLP

1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20036 Telephone: (202) 429-3000

Facsimile: (202) 429-3902 cniewoehner@steptoe.com

Kelly B. Kramer (Pro Hac Vice)

Joseph P. Minta (Pro Hac Vice) MAYER BROWN LLP

1999 K Street, NW

Washington, DC 20006

Telephone: (202) 263-3000 Facsimile: (202) 263-5207

kkramer@mayerbrown.com

jminta@mayerbrown.com

Attorneys for Defendant Richard G. Renzi

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

DISTRICT OF ARIZONA

 

)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

)

)

Plaintiff,

)

)

vs.

)

)

RICHARD G. RENZI,

)

JAMES W. SANDLIN,

)

)

Defendants.

)

)

)

No. 4:08-cr-00212-TUC-DCB

SENTENCING MEMORANDUM OF

RICHARD G. RENZI

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Case 4:08-cr-00212-DCB-BPV

Document 1308

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Page 2 of 31

Table of Contents

Page

INTRODUCTION

 

4

BACKGROUND

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I. MR. RENZI'S UPBRINGING AND EDUCATION

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II. MR. RENZI'S DEVELOPMENT OF AN INSURANCE PROGRAM FOR CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTERS

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III. MR. RENZI'S SERVICE IN CONGRESS

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A. Working to Resolve the Bennett Freeze

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B. Improving Schools and Education

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C. Providing Affordable Housing Opportunities

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D. Building and Improving Healthcare Facilities

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IV. HELPING OTHERS AND PERSONAL GENEROSITY

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A. Sean Minton

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B. Phil Cancik

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C. Fundraiser for Fallen Capitol Police Officers

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D. Erika Hill

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E. Support for a Deceased Friend's Daughter

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F. Care for Constituents in Need

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G. Donation of Property to the Catholic Church

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V. HEALTH ISSUES

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ARGUMENT

 

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I.

THE SENTENCING GUIDELINES ARE BUT ONE FACTOR AMONG MANY THAT THE COURT MUST CONSIDER

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A.

There is No Basis For any Increase in Offense Level for the Group 1 Offenses Based On the Value Involved in the Offense Under USSG

 

§2C1.1(b)(2)

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1. Legal Standards

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2. The Government Cannot Quantify Any Loss to the Aries Group Under the Second Prong of USSG §2C1.1(b)(2)

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3.

The Government Cannot Show that Either Mr. Renzi or Mr. Sandlin Gained Anything of Value Under the Third Prong of

 

2

USSG §2C1.1(b)(2)

 

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3

 

B.

There is No Basis For Any Increase in Offense Level for the Group 2 Offenses (Insurance) Based On the Value Involved in the Offense

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Under §2B1.1

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II.

MR. RENZI'S HISTORY AND CHARACTERISTICS AS WELL AS THE

NATURE OF HIS OFFENSE WARRANT A NON-GUIDELINES SENTENCE

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6

A. Mr. Renzi's Personal History and Characteristics Suggest a Below- Guidelines Sentence

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7

 

1. Mr. Renzi's Good Works and Public Service

 

21

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2. Mr. Renzi's Family Ties

 

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B. The Nature and Seriousness of Mr. Renzi's Offenses

 

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1. The Public Corruption Offenses

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2. The Insurance Offenses

 

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C. Mr. Renzi's Conviction, the Proposed Sentence, and His Public Downfall Would Promote Respect for the Law and Effectively

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Deter Others

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D. A Lengthy Prison Sentence Is Not Needed to Protect the Public Because There is No Risk of recidivism

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E. A Below-Guidelines Sentence Would Help to Avoid Disparities With Sentences Given to Defendants for Similar Offenses

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CONCLUSION

 

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INTRODUCTION

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Mr. Renzi has lived a life dedicated to his family, his community, and his faith.

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As a Member of Congress, he helped to improve the lives of many constituents who

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faced issues of poverty, poor health care, and a lack of basic housing. He was a

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dedicated member of the pro-life movement, and through his expertise and hard work

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created an innovative insurance program that was crucial to the continued viability of

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the thousands of crisis pregnancy centers that were vital to the movement’s efforts. As

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a husband and father, he raised twelve children and instilled in them the values that

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were so important in his own life.

 

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Though he achieved remarkable success during his short time in Congress, Mr.

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Renzi has also known failures. In this case, a jury of Mr. Renzi’s peers found that he

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was guilty of public corruption and of making false statements to insurance regulators.

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Mr. Renzi respects that verdict, appreciates the seriousness of these offenses, and

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stands ready to be sentenced by the Court.

 

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But as recognized by Probation, this case is unique in many ways that take it

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out of the heartland of corruption and fraud cases. Mr. Renzi was convicted even

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though: 1) what he tried to achieve, retiring the water use on the Sandlin Property,

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was unquestionably in the best interest of the public; and 2) Mr. Renzi received

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nothing more for his efforts to include the Sandlin Property in a land exchange than he

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would have received anyway. As a result, Probation concluded, and Mr. Renzi agrees,

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that this is the kind of case in which the Sentencing Guidelines do not accurately

22

reflect Mr. Renzi’s culpability. Probation concluded that a term of imprisonment of 33

23

months was a sufficient departure from the Guidelines range that Probation found

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applied.

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But as Mr. Renzi has already established, a more accurate Guidelines

26

calculation results in a range of 33-41 months imprisonment, so any departure from

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that range yields a sentence below that range. As explained in this memorandum, Mr.

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Renzi’s history and characteristics, including his good works and family ties, support a

 

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sentence well below the corrected Guidelines range. Mr. Renzi has already suffered

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from a long and public fall from grace, which has placed extreme stress on his family

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and his own health. Given his age and lack of a criminal history, Mr. Renzi poses no

4

risk of recidivism. Accordingly, Mr. Renzi asks this Court to impose a sentence

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significantly below the corrected Guidelines sentencing range of 33-41 months’

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imprisonment.

 

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BACKGROUND

 

8

I.

MR. RENZI’S UPBRINGING AND EDUCATION

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Mr. Renzi was born on June 11, 1958 in Monmouth, New Jersey. He is the

10

oldest of five children of Gen. Eugene Renzi and Faye Renzi, née Barker. As a child,

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Mr. Renzi’s family moved frequently due to his father’s military career. Throughout

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his life, Mr. Renzi was strongly influenced by his father’s service to his country as an

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officer and later general in the United States Army, and by a strong commitment to the

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importance of family. From an early age, Mr. Renzi served as a father figure to his

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younger siblings while his father was serving a tour in the Vietnam War. Mr. Renzi’s

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mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis while he was still in high school, and

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during that time Mr. Renzi continued to support his siblings. Ralph Renzi, Mr.

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Renzi’s youngest sibling, writes that during all this time, “Rick balanced a life of

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school, sports, some part time work and the role of father. For many his role may have

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been temporary; for my brother Rick it never changed.” Ex. A-9, Letter from Ralph

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Renzi.

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Mr. Renzi went on to attend high school in Sierra Vista, AZ, and later college at

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Northern Arizona University (“NAU”), where he received a football scholarship. He

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was regarded by his peers as a loyal, caring friend and a strong leader. Roseanna

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Lindley, a friend of Mr. Renzi’s who has known him since the two attended high

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school and college together, writes, “He kept a helpful watch on a few of us (former

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classmates) to make sure that no one ever mistreated or was unkind to us. He was the

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‘big brother’ type that living in a small town produces….” Ex. A-6, Letter from

 

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Roseanna Lindley. Father Rudy Rosales, who met Mr. Renzi as a student athletic

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trainer on the NAU football team, writes that “many people just considered us athletic

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trainers or just ‘water boys.’ But not Rick; he and others respected us and considered

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us valuable team members and brothers.” Ex. A-18, Letter from Fr. Rudy Rosales.

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Regardless of what else was taking place in Mr. Renzi’s life, he never lost sight of

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friends and family. Bob Orrill, a friend of Mr. Renzi’s since their days playing

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football together at NAU, recalls that when he suffered a heart attack in September

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2002 (during the home stretch of Mr. Renzi’s campaign for election to Congress),

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“Rick was at the hospital with my family waiting to see me as I was brought back to

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my room after surgery.” Ex. A-20, Letter of Bob Orrill.

 

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Mr. Renzi married his wife, Roberta Renzi, née Stuart, in 1980 in Fort

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Huachuca, Arizona, and together they had twelve children. Ron Renzi, Mr. Renzi’s

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oldest son, recalls a father who “would work as hard as he could all day, and still find

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the time to play catch with his sons until it was too dark to see the ball.” Ex. A-4,

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Letter from Ron Renzi. Mr. Renzi often worked two or even three jobs in order to

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provide for his family, so that his wife could remain home with their children. Ex. A-

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7, Letter from Roberta Renzi; Ex. A-16, Letter from Tim Doser. Although the family

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endured some lean times financially, Mr. Renzi “created opportunity for himself

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through hard work and sheer determination,” and taught his children to always be

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mindful of all that they had to be thankful for. Ex. A-4, Letter from Ron Renzi. Even

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after he was elected to Congress, Mr. Renzi eschewed the social scene on the Hill,

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preferring instead to keep his evenings free to spend time with his family. Ex. A-12,

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Letter from Patty Roe. As a father, Mr. Renzi encouraged his children’s academic and

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athletic pursuits, and strove to instill in them his values of faith, family, and charity.

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Ex. A-4, Letter from Ron Renzi.

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II.

MR. RENZI’S DEVELOPMENT OF AN INSURANCE PROGRAM FOR CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTERS

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Mr. Renzi’s life has been defined by his spirituality and religious devotion.

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Roseanna Lindley writes of Mr. Renzi’s experience on a pilgrimage in Mexico, “where

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he walked on his knees for two miles to the cathedral to honor the Blessed Mother.”

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Ex. A-6, Letter from Roseanna Lindley. Mr. Renzi was also an ardent supporter of the

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rights of the unborn and worked passionately to advance that cause. A vital

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component of those efforts were the hundreds of crisis pregnancy centers (“CPCs”)

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around the country that provided counseling services to pregnant women and offered

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alternatives to abortion. These centers typically had only very limited financial

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resources, and as the costs of insuring the risk of litigation arising from the centers’

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activities mounted, many were unable to afford the cost of obtaining insurance

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coverage. Ex. A-11, Letter from Tom Glessner.

 

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It was at this time that Mr. Renzi, working in concert with the national

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organizations representing these centers, worked to develop an innovative group

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insurance program that would allow these centers to obtain coverage at a rate that they

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could afford. Mr. Renzi was asked by Tom Glessner, President of NIFLA (an

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organization representing many CPCs), to develop an insurance program at a fraction

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of the cost that the centers were paying on the market. Mr. Renzi met that challenge,

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obtaining coverage for centers at an annual premium of $1,000 or less where centers in

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the past had sometimes paid $40,000 or more. Id. Mr. Glessner writes that this

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coverage is “absolutely essential for the work of these centers to continue,” and that

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“This network would not be in existence today in such a dramatic way if it were not

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for the committed work of Rick Renzi.Id.

 

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III.

MR. RENZI’S SERVICE IN CONGRESS

 

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As a Member of Congress representing Arizona’s First Congressional District,

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Mr. Renzi came to the aid of his country, his district and his constituents in ways great

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and small. Mr. Renzi was a constant advocate for his constituents, especially those in

 

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the District’s poorest areas. Kathy Kitcheyan, a former Chairwoman of the San Carlos

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Apache Tribe, describes Mr. Renzi as a “spokesman for improving the lives of our

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people.” Ex. A-5, Letter from Kathy Kitcheyan. Below is a summary of some of Mr.

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Renzi’s most important achievements during his time in Congress.

 

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A.

Working to Resolve the Bennett Freeze

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When Mr. Renzi was elected to Congress, thousands of Navajo were living in

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barely habitable housing as a result of the “Bennett Freeze” implemented in 1966 by

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the Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs during the course of a longstanding

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land dispute between the Hopi and Navajo Tribes. The Freeze halted all development

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on the affected land, and left the thousands of Navajo remaining on the land living in

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third-world conditions. See LOS ANGELES TIMES, “Trying To Be [sic] Rebuild After

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40 Frozen Years,” Nov. 5, 2009, attached as Ex. D. Mr. Renzi took action to solve

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this problem that had persisted for forty years. Navajo Delegate Katherine Bennally

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writes: “It is a sad situation where inhumane conditions exist within the State of

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Arizona and the United States of America. What Rick did was travel with his

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committee members to the area to witness first-hand the substandard housing, no

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electricity, no running water and no waste water systems. Today, the Bennett Freeze

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has been lifted and the living conditions are slowly improving.” Ex. A-3, Letter from

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Katherine Bennally. As a result of Mr. Renzi’s efforts to raise awareness, legislation

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ending the freeze finally passed Congress. Peter MacDonald, former Chairman of the

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Navajo Tribe, notes that “Rick Renzi helped put an end to the so-called Bennett

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Freeze; thus, allowing more than 10,000 people living within the area to repair their

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old homes, build new homes and receive economic development assistance with water

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and power lines. Rick Renzi has a heart for people who are less fortunate.” Ex. A-14,

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Letter from Peter MacDonald.

 

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B.

Improving Schools and Education

 

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As Sarah Jones, one of Mr. Renzi’s former staffers writes, “education was in a

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particularly sad state in the First District.” Ex. A-19, Letter from Sarah Jones. Mr.

 

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Renzi made improving education a top priority during his tenure. Stacie Zanzucchi,

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Principal of Cococino High School, writes that Mr. Renzi “went so far as to organize a

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public forum regarding education in Northern Arizona and brought the U.S. Secretary

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of Education to speak to our community and answer questions regarding the Federal

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Government’s role in education in rural communities such as ours. He brought

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funding to schools to provide programs for low socio economic families. Many of

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these programs still exist and continue to thrive.” Ex. A-17, Letter from Stacie

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Zanzucchi. He was also a key proponent of the Navajo Nation Higher Education Act,

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which provided much needed funding for the modernization and repair of community

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college facilities on the Navajo Reservation. Ex. A-21, Letter from Wanda

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MacDonald. Mr. Renzi also obtained funds to replace a dilapidated school in the

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Dennehotso community, thereby providing a safe environment for children from

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kindergarten to eighth grade to attend school. Ex. A-10, Letter from Helen Bonnaha.

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C.

Providing Affordable Housing Opportunities

 

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When Mr. Renzi was elected to Congress, the First District faced staggering

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issues of poverty. Alix Norton, one of Mr. Renzi’s staff, writes of visiting families on

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the reservations living in “decrepit conditions, even an elderly lady with no home who

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slept in the middle of her sheep to stay warm.” Ex A-13, Letter from Alix Norton.

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Mr. Renzi made it a top priority to address inadequate housing on Native American

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land. Mr. Renzi hosted a Congressional field hearing in Tuba City, Arizona to address

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Native American housing issues, and sponsored and helped pass the Homeownership

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Opportunities for Native Americans Act of 2004, H.R. 4471, which helped provide

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financial flexibility to support creation of housing on Native American lands. Ex. A-8,

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Letter from Rosie Tsosie-Bingham; Ex. A-21, Letter from Wanda MacDonald; Ex A-

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13, Letter from Alix Norton.

 

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D.

Building and Improving Healthcare Facilities

 

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Arizona’s First District is sprawling, largely rural, and in the past suffered from

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a dearth of adequate healthcare facilities. In many parts of the district, residents had to

 

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drive several hours to reach the nearest hospital or medical center. Mr. Renzi obtained

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much needed funding for the Kayenta Health Center, serving the Navajo Nation.

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Helen Bonnaha, a Former Kayenta Township Supervisor, writes that the community

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had been trying to obtain a hospital for more than 60 years. As a result of the funding

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obtained by Mr. Renzi, the center was able to expand from offering only limited

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services to providing important specialized services like x-rays, a pregnancy center,

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day surgery, and a wellness center. Ex. A-10, Letter from Helen Bonnaha. Mr. Renzi

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also obtained funding for a new hospital on the San Carlos Apache reservation, which

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would offer more specialized services and replace an existing facility that was over 50

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year old, relieving residents who formerly had to travel two to three hours to see any

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health specialist. Ex. A-5, Letter from Kathy Kitcheyan. Mr. Renzi also helped the

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Morenci Healthcare Center gain Federal status, so that it could better serve poor

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residents in rural Arizona. Ex. A-18, Letter from Fr. Rudy Rosales.

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IV.

HELPING OTHERS AND PERSONAL GENEROSITY

 

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Both personally and as a member of Congress, Mr. Renzi time and again has

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lent a hand to those in need. Ranging from small acts of kindness to offering sustained

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financial support and nurturing relationships, Mr. Renzi’s generosity has touched the

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lives of many.

 

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A.

Sean Minton

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Sean Minton, now twenty three years old, has known Mr. Renzi since he was

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introduced to him by Mr. Renzi’s sons at the age of six. Mr. Minton’s father tragically

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passed away when Sean was just four. Sean writes, “Unlike most kids in my position,

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I was still able to grow up with a strong father figure who helped guide me through

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life. That father was Mr. Renzi…. Mr. Renzi cared for me, and truly raised me like

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one of his own children.” At Mr. Renzi’s invitation, Sean attended church with the

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Renzi family every Sunday. The two developed a close relationship, like any father

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and son. Mr. Renzi helped instill in Sean a dedication to faith, academics and athletics

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that have become central to Mr. Minton’s life, and along with that guidance, provided

 

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him with food, housing, and financial support. As Mr. Minton writes, “When I was

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younger, the Renzis often fed me dinner, and there were times when Mr. Renzi took

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me into his home…. Whether I needed shoes for wrestling or money for lunch at

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school, I was always able to have it, thanks to Mr. Renzi.” Ex. A-1, Letter from Sean

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Minton. Mr. Renzi’s sympathy for Mr. Minton’s loss and determination to make a

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positive impact in his life is emblematic of the compassion and commitment to helping

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others that Mr. Renzi has shown throughout his life.

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B.

Phil Cancik

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Phil Cancik was a close friend of Mr. Renzi’s, dating back to their time as

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teammates on NAU’s football team. Mr. Cancik went on to a successful career in the

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NFL, but later fell into drug abuse and eventually wound up in prison on drug-related

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charges. When others had lost track of Mr. Cancik, Mr. Renzi took it on himself to

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hire a private investigator, and eventually learned of Mr. Cancik’s incarceration. Mr.

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Renzi visited Mr. Cancik in prison, and when he was released, Mr. Renzi gave him a

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job and helped him get back on his feet. When Mr. Cancik needed an advocate to

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speak on his behalf and help him obtain his contractor’s license, Mr. Renzi went to bat

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for him, and his testimony helped convince an appeals board to grant Mr. Cancik’s

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application. To this day, Mr. Cancik credits the friendship and support that Mr. Renzi

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offered as the reason he was able to turn his life around. Ex. A-2, Letter from Phil

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Cancik.

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C.

Fundraiser for Fallen Capitol Police Officers

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Mr. Renzi learned of two Capitol Police Officers, John Gibson and Jacob

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Chestnut, who had been killed in the line of duty while defending the United States

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Capitol against an armed intruder. See WASHINGTON POST, “Officers Lost Their Lives

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Saving Others,” July 25 1998, attached as Ex. E.

Moved by their story, he took it

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upon himself to organize a charity touch football event between Members of Congress

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and the Capitol Police, to raise money for the two officers’ families. 152 CONG. REC.

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H1500 (Apr. 5, 2006) (statement of Rep. Shuster), attached as Ex. F; ROLL CALL,

 

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“Members, Cops to recreate ‘The Longest Yard,’” Oct. 31, 2005, attached as Ex. G.

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In its first year, the event raised $50,000 for the education and other needs of the

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officers’ families, and has become an annual tradition. Ex. A-12, Letter from Patty

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Roe.

5

 

D.

Erika Hill

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One of Mr. Renzi’s employees at Patriot Insurance, Erika Hill, was diagnosed

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with cancer. Ms. Hill writes that in addition to offering emotional support, Mr. Renzi

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provided her family with financial assistance, and refused her offers to repay him. Ex.

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A-15, Letter from Erika Hill.

 

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E.

Support for a Deceased Friend’s Daughter

 

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A former girlfriend of Mr. Renzi’s, and mutual friend of Roseanna Lindley,

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tragically passed away during an ocean diving incident, leaving behind a five year old

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daughter. When Mr. Renzi learned of this tragedy, he sought out his friend’s daughter

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and her guardian, to make sure that she would have money to attend college. As Ms.

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Lindley writes, Mr. Renzi did this “not wanting anything for himself, only to see the

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child of his friend be successful.” Ex. A-6, Letter from Roseanna Lindley.

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F.

Care for Constituents in Need

 

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Sarah Jones, a former staffer for Mr. Renzi, tells the story of some constituents

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who came to visit Mr. Renzi in his office in Washington, DC. The constituents had

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lost their wallet on their way to DC for a veterans event. Mr. Renzi “asked them how

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much they needed, and arranged for them to receive double that from his own pocket.”

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Ex. A-19, Letter from Sarah Jones.

 

23

 

G.

Donation of Property to the Catholic Church

 

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Mr. Renzi has often given generously of his money and property. When the

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local Catholic Church was struggling to raise funds a new building, Mr. Renzi donated

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space in his own home to the church so that its members would have a place to

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worship. He later gave additional space, so that the church could open a thrift shop to

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raise funds for the new building. Ex. A-15, Letter from Erika Hill.

 
 

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V.

HEALTH ISSUES

2

Dating back to 2000, Mr. Renzi has been suffering from various medical issues,

3

as detailed more fully in the Presentence Investigation Report. Presentence

4

Investigation Report for Richard G. Renzi (“PSR”) ¶¶ 73-75. Mr. Renzi’s medical

5

issues are further described in a letter submitted by his treating physician, Dr. William

6

Dabney, attached to this Memorandum and filed under seal. See Ex. I, Letter from Dr.

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William Dabney (filed under seal).

 

8

 

ARGUMENT

 

9

I.

THE SENTENCING GUIDELINES ARE BUT ONE FACTOR AMONG MANY THAT THE COURT MUST CONSIDER.

10

 

11

 

In United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 226-27 (2005), the Supreme Court

12

freed sentencing courts from the rigid, formalistic framework that existed under the

13

Guidelines, replacing it with a system in which judges have discretion to consider the

14

relevant characteristics of the offense and the defendant. After Booker, sentencing

15

courts are “obliged to ‘take account of’ [the Sentencing Guidelines] range along with

16

the sentencing goals Congress enumerated in the [Sentencing Reform Act] at 18

17

U.S.C. § 3553(a).” Cunningham v. California, 549 U.S. 270, 286 (2007) (quoting

18

Booker, 543 U.S. at 259, 264). In other words, sentencing courts must consider the

19

Guidelines, but they are not bound by them. See United States v. Carty, 520 F.3d 984,

20

991-93 (9th Cir. 2008) (en banc). Rather, they are but one of the statutory factors the

21

courts must consider. See id.

 

22

 

Here, Mr. Renzi agrees with the PSR Guidelines calculations in all but two

23

ways, which relate to enhancements the PSR made 1) pursuant to USSG §2C1.1(b)(2)

24

based on the value involved in the public corruption counts; and 2) pursuant to USSG

25

§2B1.1 based on the amount of the loss on the insurance counts.

 

26

 

27

28

 

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A.

There is No Basis For Any Increase in Offense Level for the Group 1 Offenses Based On the Value Involved in the Offense Under USSG

2

§2C1.1(b)(2)

3

Again, as Probation recognized, one of the things that makes this case so unique

4

is the fact that Mr. Renzi was not going to profit from the insertion of the Sandlin

5

property into any land exchange bill. Even the government accepts that Mr. Renzi

6

received nothing beyond the repayment of the pre-existing debt that Mr. Sandlin owed

7

to Mr. Renzi related to the Kingman property. And it is also true that Mr. Sandlin did

8

not need to sell the Sandlin property to repay this debt. Mr. Sandlin borrowed over

9

$900,000 from Mr. Ricketts in the fall of 2005, using only ¼ of the Kingman property

10

as collateral, which was more than what Mr. Sandlin needed to repay Mr. Renzi.

11

Further, Mr. Sandlin had additional properties that he could have sold or borrowed

12

against if necessary. Thus, there is simply no evidence to suggest that Mr. Sandlin

13

needed to sell the Sandlin property, or that Mr. Renzi somehow thought this was so, to

14

repay this debt.

15

The natural consequence of those facts is that the Guidelines do not impose any

16

enhanced penalty upon Mr. Renzi under USSG §2C1.1(b)(2), which provides for

17

increases in a defendant’s offense level based on the value involved in the offense.

18

The government argues to the contrary, but those efforts to dramatically increase Mr.

19

Renzi’s punishment are speculative and impermissible, and should be rejected.

20

 

1.

Legal Standards

 

21

As the Government concedes, the government has the burden of establishing

22

any of its proposed enhancements under USSG §2C1.1(b)(2) by clear and convincing

23

evidence because of the disproportionate impact this section has on Mr. Renzi’s

24

sentence. Government Consolidated Response to the Objections (Dkt. 1305), at 3

25

(citing United States v. Jordan, 256 F.3d 922, 928-29 (9th Cir. 2001). That high

26

standard is particularly appropriate here. The purpose of value-based enhancements is

27

to increase punishment only in circumstances where additional punishment is

28

warranted that is, where the Government has proven a loss to the victim or gain to

 

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1

the defendant. This principle was explained in United States v. Schneider, 930 F.2d

2

555, 559 (7th Cir. 1991), which explained that the Guidelines essentially start for

3

purposes of fraud loss calculations with the assumption that the victim lost nothing,

4

but then enhance a sentence (or awards “bonus punishment points”) based on proven

5

losses:

6

We add that of course the Schneiders will not go scot free merely because the government failed--failed utterly--to prove any loss to the victim of their fraud.

The statutes under which they were convicted do not require a minimum loss to the victim… It is simply that the Guidelines award bonus punishment points for

different levels of proven loss beginning with $2,000. The government did not earn a bonus in this case.

7

8

9

 

10

Id. at 559 (emphasis added).

11

Further underscoring the protections provided by the Guidelines, the

12

government is not permitted to meet its burden of proving value under §2C1.1 based

13

on speculation. See United States v. Frega, 179 F.3d 793, 812 (9th Cir. 1999); United

14

States v. Rousell, 705 F.3d 184, 201 (5th Cir. 2013); United States v. Ring, 811 F.2d

15

359, 380 (D.D.C. 2011).

16

2.

The Government Cannot Quantify Any Loss to the Aries Group Under the Second Prong of USSG §2C1.1(b)(2)

17

18

The second prong of USSG §2C1.1(b)(2) considers the value of the “benefit

19

received or to be received in return for the payment.” The government argues that the

20

Court should adopt a $4.6 million figure, reflecting the amount that the Aries Group

21

paid for the Sandlin property. This is a guess. The government has no idea, nor does

22

anyone else, whether or how much the Aries Group might have profited if the Aries

23

Bill had passed out of Mr. Renzi’s committee. It is far from clear that the Aries Group

24

would have turned any profit at all, let alone the 100% rate of return the government

25

seeks. It matters not whether this analysis is done now or back in 2005 -- there are

26

simply too many unknown variables (e.g., would the Aries Bill actually pass, would

27

the Aries Group be able to develop the property profitably in light of the real estate

28

market, etc.).

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1

The government’s argument rests on the assumption that the Aries Group

2

would make millions of dollars because it was investing millions of dollars. This is

3

obviously flawed the size of the investment has no bearing as to whether it actually

4

makes money. The government’s naked assertion that $4.6 million is a “conservative

5

estimate” is simply another way of saying that it cannot quantify what rate of profit, let

6

alone the ultimate profit, the Aries Group might have enjoyed. That inability to

7

quantify any number dooms their argument.

 

8

 

3.

The Government Cannot Show that Either Mr. Renzi or Mr. Sandlin Gained Anything of Value Under the Third Prong of

USSG §2C1.1(b)(2)

9

10

The third measure under USSG §2C1.1(b)(2) considers “the value of anything

11

obtained or to be obtained by a public official or others acting with a public official.”

12

As the Government concedes, Dkt. No. 1301 at 5, Ninth Circuit precedent dictates that

13

any valuation under this measure must be a “net” valuation.” See United States v.

14

White Eagle, 721 F.3d 1108, 1122 (9th Cir. 2013). This is a critical (albeit undeniable)

15

concession, because neither Mr. Sandlin nor Mr. Renzi received anything more than

16

what they gave up or were owed. Accordingly, neither man received anything of

17

value.

18

With respect to Mr. Sandlin, the unrebutted evidence at trial (which the

19

government does not contest) was that the Aries Group paid Mr. Sandlin less than the

20

fair market value of what the Sandlin Property was worth. See Dkt. No. 1303 at 4-6

21

(detailing the $5.2 million offer the Aries Group received for the Sandlin Property

22

within weeks of the May 2005 agreement to buy the land from Mr. Sandlin). White

23

Eagle and similar cases demonstrate that the proper way to determine the net valuation

24

of property is to assess the fair market value of the property at the time it is sold, not

25

some other time. See White Eagle, 721 F.3d at 1122; United States v. Bahel, 662 F.3d

26

610, 620, 646-47 (2d Cir. 2011); United States v. Ring, 811 F. Supp. 2d 359, 380

27

(D.D.C. 2011); United States v. Barranza, 655 F.3d 375, 385-86 (5th Cir. 2011). In

28

the context of commercial fraud, it is clear that defendants receive credit for “the fair

 

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market value of the property returned” -- there is no reason to believe a different

2

principle operates here. See USSG §2B1.1, Comment 3(E).

 

3

As for the valuation of any benefit to Mr. Renzi, as previously explained, see

4

Dkt. No. 1300 at 3-5, the only payments that Mr. Renzi received were in repayment of

5

a pre-existing debt owed him by Mr. Sandlin. Because Mr. Renzi would have received

6

both of those payments regardless of Mr. Sandlin’s sale of his property to the Aries

7

Group, Mr. Renzi did not receive anything of net value as a result of that transaction.

8

The key facts surrounding the original debt were proven at trial. Mr. Sandlin’s

9

debt to Mr. Renzi originated in 2003, when Mr. Sandlin completed his buyout of Mr.

10

Renzi’s interest in the Kingman property. Mr. Sandlin did not pay the entire purchase

11

price at the time of that sale, and the evidence established that this was essentially a

12

handshake deal in which Mr. Sandlin owed Mr. Renzi $800,000. Mr. Sandlin made

13

several payments on his debt in 2004 as anticipated.

 

14

In the summer of 2005, however, Mr. Sandlin entered into a promise to sell a

15

portion of the Kingman Property to Mike Anderson, another developer. Mr. Sandlin’s

16

agreement triggered his obligation to pay the outstanding balance of his debt in full,

17

which was explained in the letter that Mr. Renzi arranged to be sent to Mr. Sandlin on

18

August 29, 2005 to call the note. Gov’t Ex. 655. After Mr. Renzi called the note, Mr.

19

Sandlin paid the remaining balance with money that Mr. Sandlin borrowed from Mr.

20

Ricketts in September 2005. Mr. Sandlin received additional funds from the Aries

21

Group in October 2005, which he kept in an escrow account so that he could purchase

22

the Sandlin Property back should it become available.

 

23

The government does not contest that Mr. Sandlin owed Mr. Renzi $733,000

24

from the Kingman transaction, but argues that the money was still somehow tied to the

25

extortionate conduct. But this is immaterial for purposes of USSG §2C1.1(b)(2)

26

even if the money were tied to the crime, which it was not, Mr. Renzi did not gain any

27

extra benefit from being repaid money that he was already owed.

 

28

 

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1

The government has no evidence that Mr. Sandlin was unable to repay Mr.

2

Renzi, let alone enough to meet the clear and convincing standard here. Mr. Sandlin

3

had assets worth many millions of dollars in 2005. He used a small portion of those

4

assets (1/4 of his interest in the Kingman Property) to borrow $966,000 from Mr.

5

Ricketts. He owned a series of additional properties free and clear of any mortgage.

6

There is simply no evidence that Mr. Sandlin was unable to pay his debt, or that Mr.

7

Renzi mistakenly believed that he would.

8

The government fares no better on its claim that Mr. Renzi got his money from

9

Mr. Sandlin sooner than it was otherwise due. Dkt. No. 1305 at 10. The government’s

10

arguments in this regard rely on a series of fundamentally flawed assumptions. As an

11

initial matter, the government cannot substantiate its basic premise, namely that Mr.

12

Renzi received money early. The evidence at trial showed that the entire note became

13

due after Mr. Sandlin entered into his agreement to sell part of the Kingman

14

development to Mr. Anderson. Mr. Renzi’s letter to Mr. Sandlin states this directly,

15

and it makes sense that Mr. Renzi would have required Mr. Sandlin to pay the debt

16

once Mr. Sandlin started selling portions of the Kingman development (which

17

effectively functioned as the collateral on the deal). Further, the timing of Mr. Renzi’s

18

demand letter, which closely follows the agreement between Mr. Sandlin and Mr.

19

Anderson, lends further credence to its authenticity.

 

20

The government insists that the demand letter is fraudulent, but does not have

21

the requisite clear and convincing evidence to support this claim. The government’s

22

argument rests on the notion that the draft promissory note that Ray Hanna prepared in

23

May 2004 did not include any such trigger language. But that argument ignores the

24

circumstances under which that note was made. The note was arranged by a lawyer,

25

Mr. Hanna, who did not understand the background of the deal or its terms, prepared

26

off of a standard form, and done without Mr. Renzi’s input. Critically, Mr. Renzi’s

27

own handwritten notes on the draft, which were made in 2004, well before any of the

28

events at issue here, prove that the note was incomplete and did not include terms

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2

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21

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about the security that Mr. Sandlin had promised. See Renzi Ex. 2742, attached as Ex.

H. Thus, the draft promissory note does not have all the terms of the agreement

between Mr. Renzi and Mr. Sandlin, and the government cannot credibly assert that

the absence of any particular term in the draft note is determinative.

Further, the governments analysis is also clouded by a series of fundamental

flaws. First, the government incorrectly assumes that the note did not become due in

August 2005, and thus includes damages for periods that extend into 2007, which

dramatically increases their figures. 1 Second, the government falsely inflates its

analysis by assuming that Mr. Renzi would not earn 5% interest on the funds that Mr.

Sandlin owed him if the loan were not repaid, even though this was the rate called for

in the note and the rate of interest that Mr. Sandlin actually paid. Any advantage to

Mr. Renzi for receiving his money back early has to account for the fact that he would

earn 5% by doing nothing. Finally, the government inflates its analysis by picking

rates that have no logical relationship to what Mr. Renzi might actually have done with

the money. For example, there is no reason to think that the rate of interest that Mr.

Sandlin was willing to pay to Mr. Ricketts was somehow indicative of Mr. Renzi’s

view of the time value of money. Thus, the government simply cannot support the

notion that Mr. Renzi somehow benefitted additionally from the fact that Mr. Sandlin

repaid his loan in 2005.

B. There is No Basis For Any Increase in Offense Level for the Group 2 Offenses (Insurance) Based On the Value Involved in the Offense

Under §2B1.1.

The PSR suggests that the Court apply a 14-level enhancement under §2B1.1

on the basis of an erroneous conclusion that Mr. Renzi unlawfully used between

$400,000 and $1 million to fund his political campaign. PSR ¶ 47. As explained in

Mr. Renzi’s previous filing, Dkt. No. 1300 at 6-7, the jury rejected the government’s

1 Removing the unwarranted time from the government’s calculations reduces the loss from $104,768.50 to $6,419.75 in Exhibit A, and from $85,030.55 to

$4,324.82 in Exhibit B.

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claim that Mr. Renzi used corporate money to fund his campaign, acquitting Mr. Renzi

of Racketeering Act 1A, the only allegation that that actually relates to the source of

funds for the campaign contributions. 2 This conclusion followed the evidence at trial,

through both Robert Watkins and the government’s own witnesses, that Mr. Renzi

used personal money to fund his campaign.

Further, even if the government could show that some money was

misappropriated, it has not established that all $422,000 that Mr. Renzi withdrew came

from misappropriated funds. This is impossible given the funds that Mr. Renzi

unquestionably put into Renzi & Company. Thus, the government cannot sustain its

burden of showing that Mr. Renzi obtained over $400,000 in illicit gain here.

Similarly, there is no loss here. The undisputed evidence shows that none of

Renzi & Company’s clients was ever denied payment for a proper claim as a result of

the dispute between NIF and Renzi & Company, and that NIF was paid all monies due

to it in November 2002just days after NIF and Renzi & Company resolved their

coverage dispute. Thus, there was neither any gain or loss associated with this

offense, and accordingly no basis for a level enhancement under §2B1.1.

II. MR. RENZI’S HISTORY AND CHARACTERISTICS AS WELL AS

THE NATURE OF HIS OFFENSE WARRANT A NON-GUIDELINES

SENTENCE

After evaluating the Sentencing Guidelines and calculating a potentially

applicable Guidelines range, the Court must consider the remaining § 3553(a) factors

to “‘impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary,’” to comply with the

purposes set forth by Congress. Kimbrough v. United States, 552 U.S. 85, 89 (2007)

(quoting § 3553(a)). Sentencing courts now have an obligation to consider factors that

were discouraged under the pre-Booker mandatory Guidelines regime, such as history

2 The government argues that the jury’s findings that Mr. Renzi committed

other racketeering predicate acts suggests that Mr. Renzi misappropriated insurance premiums, but each of the predicate acts cited in the Government’s brief, Dkt. No.

1305, at 12, pertains to the false statements to regulators.

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27

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and characteristics of a defendant, the nature of the offense, the need for deterrence,

the likelihood of recidivism, and the public’s need for protection, because they are

relevant in determining the “history and characteristics of the defendant” under §

3553(a)(1). E.g., id. at 93. In this case, Mr. Renzi’s history and characteristics as well

as the nature of his offense strongly favor a lenient non-Guidelines sentence.

A. Mr. Renzi’s Personal History and Characteristics Suggest a Below- Guidelines Sentence

Throughout his life, Mr. Renzi has been defined by his commitments to faith,

family, charity, and public service. With limited financial resources and a large and

ever-growing family, Mr. Renzi worked hard to provide for those he loved. After he

achieved financial success, Mr. Renzi dedicated his life to public service and to

advancing the pro-life movement he was so passionate about. Mr. Renzi’s active role

in his community, his commitment to improving the lives of others, public service and

family ties provide strong support for a below-Guidelines sentence. See United States

v. Tomko, 562 F.3d 558, 571 (3d Cir. 2009) (en banc) (affirming probationary sentence

where sentencing court properly considered the defendant’s negligible criminal

history, employment record, community ties, and charitable works.)

1. Mr. Renzi’s Good Works and Public Service

Mr. Renzi’s commitment to helping others is an important factor that favors a

lenient, below-Guidelines sentence:

[S]urely, if ever a man is to receive credit for the good he has done, and his immediate misconduct assessed in the context of his overall life

hitherto, it should be at the moment of his sentencing, when his very future hangs in the balance. This elementary principle of weighing the

good with the bad, which is basic to all the great religions, moral philosophies, and systems of justice, was plainly part of what Congress

had in mind when it directed courts to consider, as a necessary sentencing factor, “the history and characteristics of the defendant.”

United States v. Adelson, 441 F. Supp. 2d 506, 513-14 (S.D.N.Y. 2006).

As set out above, Mr. Renzi has made a tremendous difference for good in the

lives of others. As a Member of Congress, Mr. Renzi worked to expand education,

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housing, and healthcare in communities that were sorely lacking these basic human

rights. Thanks to Mr. Renzi’s efforts, constituents who had previously felt ignored by

their government finally felt that they had a champion for their interests. Prior to his

election, as an activist in the pro-life movement, Mr. Renzi used his expertise in the

insurance industry to create an innovative insurance program that Mr. Glessner,

President of NIFLA, described as essential to the continued operation of the crisis

pregnancy centers on their present scale.

There remains much good work for Mr. Renzi to do. Many of those who wrote

letters 3 on Mr. Renzi’s behalf stress the important work he has done in their

communities and that he can continue to help. We urge the Court to exercise its

discretion under Booker to extend leniency to Mr. Renzi, in light of his history of good

works and ability to continue to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

2. Mr. Renzi’s Family Ties

One of the most common factors relied upon by sentencing courts as warranting

a below-Guidelines sentence is the strength of a defendant’s family ties. See United

States v. Whitehead, 532 F.3d 991, 992-93 (9th Cir. 2008) (en banc) (affirming

sentence of probation, 1,000 hours of community service, and restitution in lieu of 41-

51 months in prison in part because the defendant’s eight-year-old daughter depended

on him); United States v. Nellum, No. 2:04-CR-30-PS, 2005 WL 300073, at *4 (N.D.

Ind. Feb. 3, 2005) (sentencing defendant to a lower non-Guidelines sentence in part

due to his good relationship with his children).

Mr. Renzi’s family ties are deep and strong. Mr. Renzi’s several siblings have

all written letters describing their relationships with him, and the role he played as

father figure to them when they were younger and dealing with their mother’s tragic

and terminal illness. Mr. Renzi’s wife and oldest son have also written letters, and the

latter was joined by Mr. Renzi’s other eleven children, all of whom would suffer

3 In addition to those letters cited herein (attached at Exhibit A), other letters

submitted on Mr. Renzi’s behalf are attached at Exhibit B.

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1

greatly if Mr. Renzi were sentenced to prison for an extended period. In addition,

2

several of Mr. Renzi’s children are still living at home, and Mr. Renzi’s assistance

3

with the family business is important to their financial support. As noted in Ron

4

Renzi’s letter, Mr. Renzi also has grandchildren, who risk not having a relationship

5

with their grandfather if he is given a lengthy prison sentence.

 

6

B.

The Nature and Seriousness of Mr. Renzi’s Offenses

7

Mr. Renzi recognizes that he stands convicted of felonies relating to his

8

involvement in land exchange legislation and of making false statements to insurance

9

regulators. These are serious offenses, but Mr. Renzi’s conduct differs in important

10

ways from the typical public corruption and fraud offenses. Those differences should

11

be recognized in the sentence that is imposed on Mr. Renzi.

 

12

 

1.

The Public Corruption Offenses

13

As the Probation Officer observed, “the ‘heartland’ public corruption case

14

typically involves an obvious kickback, bribe payment or other illegal gain of some

15

sort. However, that does not appear to have happened in this matter.” PSR ¶ 108.

16

Here, Mr. Renzi stands convicted even though: 1) the inclusion of the Sandlin

17

Property in either the Aries or the Resolution Copper bill would have been in the

18

public interest; and 2) Mr. Renzi was not going to benefit from the inclusion of the

19

Sandlin Property beyond the repayment of a pre-existing debt. In essence, Mr. Renzi’s

20

acts were the equivalent of a failure to disclose a conflict of interest.

21

The evidence at trial overwhelmingly established that the inclusion of the

22

Sandlin property in the land exchange was in the public interest because retiring the

23

water usage on the property would be so helpful for the environment, the military, and

24

the Sierra Vista community. The government’s stipulation laid out the key facts: 1)

25

Fort Huachuca’s mission was “essential to the national security of the United States,”

26

and 2) “retiring the water usage on the Sandlin property was thus in the public interest

27

and of value to Fort Huachuca.” Dkt. No. 1214.

 

28

 
 

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But the evidence was not limited to the stipulation. The record is replete with

2

testimony regarding the value of the Sandlin Property to helping the water problems

3

that plagued Fort Huachuca and Sierra Vista. For example, Holly Richter from The

4

Nature Conservancy (“TNC”), testified about the Sandlin Property’s dramatic impact

5

on water usage in the area, and she and other TNC witnesses testified about that

6

group’s longstanding efforts to retire the water usage on the property. Indeed, TNC

7

documents showed that the group was interested in working with Mr. Renzi with

8

respect to the Sandlin property well before the emergence of the Resolution Copper

9

and Aries land exchanges. Matt Walsh and Col. Jonathan Hunter testified about the

10

importance of the Fort’s operations and the serious threat posed by conservation issues

11

to the continuing viability of its operations in the face of the BRAC. Similarly, Pat

12

Call and Col. Thomas Finnegan testified about the importance of the Fort to Sierra

13

Vista and the community’s concern about the water use on the Sandlin Property.

14

The evidence of the significance of the Sandlin Property was matched by the

15

evidence that showed Mr. Renzi’s sincere desire to help Fort Huachuca and the Sierra

16

Vista community. Every former Renzi staffer and citizen who testified about Mr.

17

Renzi’s involvement with Fort Huachuca (e.g., Karen Lynch, Kevin Messner, Matt

18

Walsh, Col. Hunter, Pat Call, Col. Finnegan and even Joanne Keene) testified of Mr.

19

Renzi’s longstanding efforts to understand the Fort’s mission and to help protect it,

20

efforts that dated back to well before the land exchange legislation was ever

21

contemplated. The government did not challenge the sincerity of this testimony, nor

22

could it.

23

Mr. Renzi’s motivations, of course, are a key component of the charges against

24

him. Again, Mr. Renzi recognizes the jury verdict, but the limitations on that verdict

25

must be recognized as well. The law prohibits a mixed motive defense, and the Court

26

ensured that the jury was instructed accordingly. As a result, all that can be taken from

27

the jury’s verdict is that the jury concluded that at least some part of Mr. Renzi’s intent

28

was improper. But there can be little question here that Mr. Renzi was also driven by

 

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1

a pure belief in the wisdom of including the Sandlin Property in any land exchange

2

deal, and that his actions to try to make that happen were good public policy.

3

Thus, this Court should recognize, as Probation did, that Mr. Renzi’s conduct

4

falls far outside the heartland of public corruption cases, and that he should be treated

5

accordingly.

6

 

2.

The Insurance Offenses

 

7

The insurance offenses revolve around the representations that Renzi &

8

Company made to regulators investigating a dispute between Renzi & Company and

9

Safeco Insurance Company. This dispute was real. Safeco refused claims based on

10

the crisis pregnancy centers’ provision of spiritual counseling—a crucial aspect of the

11

centers’ insurance coverage. But ultimately, the dispute was resolved, and Safeco (and

12

NIF) received their money, the pregnancy centers received retroactive coverage, and

13

every single claim made was paid. In short, there was no loss here. In light of the

14

significant penalties facing Mr. Renzi from the public corruption cases, the absence of

15

harm on the insurance counts is significant.

 

16

Further, the weight the Court puts on these counts should be balanced by the

17

significant efforts Mr. Renzi made on behalf of his clients. As relayed by Mr.

18

Glessner, it was due to Mr. Renzi’s efforts that the pregnancy centers were able to

19

receive appropriate insurance at all. For example, Mr. Renzi did ultimately force

20

Safeco to change its policies to cover spiritual counseling. Even more significantly,

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Mr. Renzi also developed Spirit Mountain, which allowed the pregnancy centers to

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essentially insure themselves from the threat that Safeco (or any other insurer) would

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decide that it was politically expedient to cancel or restrict coverage. As was

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demonstrated at trial, Mr. Renzi put at risk much of his own personal fortune to build

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Spirit Mountain (e.g., by pledging his house and hundreds of thousands of his own

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money in support of the business), but allowed the members of the organization to

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reap much of the reward of his hard work (e.g., by passing back dividends to the

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members of the RRG rather than seeking to collect the money as profits).

 

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C. Mr. Renzi’s Conviction, the Proposed Sentence, and His Public Downfall Would Promote Respect for the Law and Effectively Deter

Others

Sentencing courts must consider general deterrence. However, a lengthy term

of incarceration is not the only way to deter others. Courts recognize that the collateral

consequences of convictions, such as reputational losses and litigation, can accomplish

that result.

(concluding that reputational losses and collateral litigation against a defendant

sufficed to deter others); United States v. Edwards, 595 F.3d 1004, 1019 (9th Cir.

2010) (district court appropriately concluded that probation and restitution provided an

adequate measure of general deterrence even though Guidelines suggested 27-33

months imprisonment).

See, e.g., United States v. Anderson, 533 F.3d 623, 633 (8th Cir. 2008)

Here, Mr. Renzi’s public downfall and his exit from Congress also serve as

powerful deterrents. From the moment of his indictment, Mr. Renzi’s career in

Congress was effectively marginalized, and he left office at the start of the 2009 term.

Since that time, he has not only been out of public office, but as his family recounts,

Mr. Renzi has lived in isolation, removed from the community in which he was once

so engaged. Ex. A-7, Letter from Roberta Renzi; Ex. A-4, Letter from Ron Renzi.

Living these past seven years in isolation with his life on hold while waiting for the

process to conclude has itself been a punishment that provides an additional measure

of deterrence.

In addition, the toll on Mr. Renzi’s family has been devastating, and would

deter anyone from engaging in criminal conduct. Ron Renzi, Mr. Renzi’s oldest son,

writes:

for my younger siblings, some of them as young as 7 years old when this [the proceedings against Mr. Renzi] first happened, it has been

particularly difficult. They were too young to understand why it suddenly seemed like everyone hated their daddy. They didn’t

understand why it seemed like the community had turned against us. They experience constant ridicule and bullying at school. I remember

on several occasions while coaching my younger brothers, people actually booed them at athletic events for no reason at all…. I watched

over again as parents and coaches would try to ban my dad from coming

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to events to cheer on his own kids…. I saw my 12 year old sister come home crying because a teacher singled her out in class and called her

daddy a ‘criminal’ in front of fellow classmates.

Ex. A-4, Letter from Ron Renzi. Mr. Renzi’s experience watching the effect of his

conduct on his family is perhaps the most painful punishment that he could incur.

D. A Lengthy Prison Sentence Is Not Needed to Protect the Public Because There is No Risk of Recidivism

Under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(C), sentencing courts must also consider the need

to “protect the public from further crimes of the defendant.” Here, Mr. Renzi’s chance

of recidivism is zero, and thus a lengthy sentence of imprisonment is not needed to

protect the public. Mr. Renzi’s age at the time of sentencing, lack of a criminal

history, and post-offense conduct all support a below-Guidelines sentence.

Mr. Renzi will be 55 years old at the time of his sentencing. A below-

Guidelines sentence is appropriate in the case of older offenders because the

Sentencing Guidelines do not take into account the fact that defendants over the age of

forty “exhibit markedly lower rates of recidivism in comparison to younger

defendants.” United States v. Carmona-Rodriguez, No. 04-cr-667(RWS), 2005 WL

840464, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 11, 2005); see also Simon v. United States, 361 F. Supp.

2d 35, 48 (E.D.N.Y. 2005) (sentencing 43-year old defendant to lower non-Guidelines

sentence because of the Guidelines failure to account for decreased recidivism rates

among older defendants).

After he was indicted, Mr. Renzi did not seek re-election to Congress. Since

that time, he has spent time with his family, and has helped his wife Roberta to

manage the family business, providing guidance and consultation regarding insurance

matters. Ex. A-7, Letter from Roberta Renzi. This factor also supports a below-

Guidelines sentence. See United States v. Whitehead, 532 F.3d 991, 992 (9th Cir.

2008) (affirming probationary sentence based in part on defendant’s post-offense

conduct, including working to build a business and living honorably).

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E. A Below-Guidelines Sentence Would Help to Avoid Disparities With Sentences Given to Defendants for Similar Offenses

The Sentencing Reform Act directs courts to consider the need to “avoid

unwarranted sentence disparities among defendants with similar records.” 18 U.S.C. §

3553(a)(6). We have reviewed the sentences of federal congressmen sentenced on

bribery or embezzlement charges in recent years, and provide a sampling of the most

significant cases below. That review demonstrates that Mr. Renzi’s conduct is readily

distinguishable from other Members of Congress who have been sentenced for public

corruption offenses because 1) his actions were in furtherance of the public good; and

2) he was not going to obtain any financial advantage for what he sought. In contrast,

the cases below dealt with situations where the Members’ conduct was aimed wholly

at personal enrichment, and none of the legislators were motivated by the public

interest. Mr. Renzi’s conduct stands in contrast to these heartland public corruption

cases, and his sentence should reflect that difference:

Congressman Bob Ney received over $170,000 worth of bribes plus numerous other benefits worth undisclosed sums, during a course of conduct that spanned

from 2000-2003 in connection with the Abramoff scandal. Congressman Ney’s benefits included all-expenses-paid vacations, tickets to luxury suites at

sporting events, campaign contributions and gambling stipends. In return, Ney performed numerous official actions to benefit Abramoff’s clients, including

supporting or opposing numerous pieces of legislation at Abramoff’s and his associate’s request, inserting language into the Congressional Record, inserting

amendments into legislation, supporting a license application for one of Abramoff’s clients to obtain a multi-million dollar contract, and contacting

members of the Executive branch in an effort to influence their decisions at the request of Abramoff. He received a sentence of 30 months. See Factual

Proffer, Plea Agreement, United States v. Ney, No. 1:06-cr-00272-ESH (D.D.C. Oct. 13, 2006), attached as Ex. C-1; Judgment, United States v. Ney, No. 1:06-

cr-00272-ESH (D.D.C. Jan. 23, 2007), attached as Ex. C-2.

Congressman Dan Rostenkowski, who stole more than $640,000 from the Government in a series of schemes involving kickbacks from fake employees

and embezzlement of House post office funds, received a sentenced of seventeen months. See LOS ANGELES TIMES, “Rostenkowski Pleads Guilty,

Gets Prison,” April 10, 1996, attached as Ex. C-3.

Congressman Joseph Kolter, who embezzled more than $44,000 from the U.S. Government during the House post office scandal, received a sentence of 6

months. See N.Y. TIMES, “Ex-Congressman Gets 6 Months in Prison,” Aug. 1, 1996, attached as Ex. C-4; N.Y. TIMES, “Ex-Lawmaker Indicted in Post Office

Scandal,” Oct. 19, 1994, attached as Ex. C-5.

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The defendants whose conduct was closest (although still worse) to Mr. Renzi’s

received sentences at or below the recommendation made by the Probation Officer

here. And importantly, defendants who have received significantly higher sentences

were engaged in far more egregious conduct than Mr. Renzi. 4 As a result, this review

supports the notion that Mr. Renzi’s sentence should be lower than what was proposed

by the Probation Officer.

CONCLUSION

Mr. Renzi’s outstanding record of good works, his public service, and close

family ties all argue for leniency. His age, lack of criminal history, and departure from

public office effectively foreclose any chance of recidivism. His fall from grace and

the devastating impact of his conduct on both himself and his family have cost him

and his family dearly, and already served to punish him severely while deterring

others. The 33-month term of imprisonment proposed by the Probation Officer

significantly overstates the just punishment for Mr. Renzi’s crimes. As a result, Mr.

Renzi will ask that the Court impose a sentence with a term of imprisonment

significantly below that recommendation. Such a sentence would be sufficient, but not

greater than necessary, to serve the purposes of sentencing.

DATED this 22 nd day of October, 2013.

Respectfully submitted,

4 Congressman William Jefferson received $478,000 in actual bribes in return for his use of his office to attempt to corruptly broker various business ventures in several African nations, but plotted a scheme that he expected would earn him shares in a Nigerian telecommunications joint venture worth $172 million. See Gov’t Sentencing Memorandum, United States v. Jefferson