BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The former mayor of Niagara Falls is expected to face 10 to 16 months in jail after taking a plea deal in court Thursday. Vince Anello pleaded guilty to a felony charge of submitting false information for the purpose of collecting a pension. Back in 2004, Anello retired from the Electrical Workers Union Local 237 as an electrician and began to collect a pension. To qualify for the pension, retirees can't work more than 40 hours a month. According to court documents, in 2008 Anello was working close to 40 hours a week for companies controlled by Niagara County Businessman Joe Anderson, while also collecting $48,000 a year in pension money.
Anello also faced charges involving political corruption when he allegedly accepted $40,000 from Anderson as a mayoral candidate and in return, Anello gave Anderson a city contract involving the East Pedestrian Mall in Niagara Falls.
"We've always said from the beginning that the mayor never have any side agreement, with Joe Anderson," said Anello's Attorney Joel Daniels. "There was never any wink and a nod, no secret handshake with Joe."
Prosecutors have now agreed to dismiss the case surrounding the city contract, in return for the guilty plea on the pension issue.
"In exchange for a felony conviction and the certainty of jail time, my office has decided that this was the best and fairest resolution for both cases," said United States Attorney William Hochul.
Anello is scheduled to be sentenced on December 20 at 9:00 a.m