We've got July 12 circled in red on our calendars: That's when Ron Slovacek goes to trial in U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn's courtroom -- making him the way last defendant to be tried in the Dallas City Hall federal corruption case. Hard to believe we're not done with that thing yet. Reason I mention it: The Convicted Extortionist Formerly Known as Vernon Cooks Jr. -- otherwise known as Jibreel Rashad -- was sentenced today to spend 57 months in a federal prison.
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His sentencing, courtesy Lynn, comes four months after it took a jury all of two hours to find Rashad guilty of joining former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill, ex-City Plan Commissioner D'Angelo Lee and car dealer Ricky Robertson in a scheme to extort thousands from Bill Fisher, the low-income housing developer and FBI informant. But per the U.S. Attorney's Office, Lynn did cut Rashad a bit of a break: "Judge Lynn ordered that Rashad can serve 12 months of this sentence concurrently with the 135-month federal prison sentence he is presently serving for his conviction as a leader in a mortgage fraud conspiracy." And it could have been a whole lot worse: His conviction came with the possibility of a 20-year sentence.