A Cambria man who worked at the California Men’s Colony was sentenced Tuesday to a County Jail term on three bribery counts related to selling thousands of dollars of tobacco to prisoners.
Kevin George Malone, 48, took in about $20,000 in exchange for tobacco he provided to three CMC prisoners over two years, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Michael Duffy sentenced Malone to 90 days in County Jail after he pleaded no contest to three felony counts of bribery.
In recent weeks, Malone accepted responsibility and resigned from his position as part of a mutual decision with the prison.
Malone’s sentence includes a $40,400 fine, three years of felony probation, 150 hours of community service and disqualification from employment with the state of California.
He is scheduled to surrender to County Jail in November. Malone had no prior criminal record.
“My client is genuinely remorseful,” said Jim Murphy, Malone’s lawyer. “He’s a good man, he has a good heart, and he made a horrific mistake in judgment.”
Murphy said his wife had health complications, and he used the money to provide for his family.
According to the CMC’s investigative report, Malone coordinated dozens of wire transfer payments over two years from January 2009 to January 2011 in exchange for tobacco.
Sisters of two inmates and the wife of a third prisoner involved in the payments implicated Malone, the report said.
“(One inmate) would contact his sister and tell her to ‘send money to Grandma,’ ” the report said.
Sending money to “Grandma” meant to wire money to Malone’s bank account, according to the report.
Providing tobacco to inmates doesn’t violate any California laws. But it violates the official duties of a CMC employee, and Malone “circumvented security measures” by bringing in contraband, according to the CMC investigative report. Malone was hired at the San Luis Obispo prison in July 2005.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran said the crime qualified as bribery because Malone was taking money to ignore an official duty at the institution.
“He was taking money not to follow the rules of the institution,” Gran said.
According to the investigative report, informants inside the prison told CMC authorities that Malone — who supervised inmates’ painting of signs — received about $200 to $400 each time he brought tobacco.
The prosecution documented $19,960.50 in sales of the tobacco, traced through wire transfers Malone received.
The report said Malone had discussed with an inmate a plan to smuggle cellphones into the prison to sell.
But no proof that he actually carried out that idea was discovered by investigators, nor was it charged in his criminal case.
Murphy said Malone feels bad about his actions, has accepted responsibility, has sought Christian counseling and plans to lead a law-abiding life.