Kenneth “Buddy” Barfield, a former campaign manager and political advisor to former Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, will spend more than seven years in federal prison for embezzling nearly $2 million from campaign accounts over a five-year period. The sentence was handed down Friday by a federal judge. Barfield had pleaded guilty in October, 2014.
U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks said the sentence of 87-months seemed a “little bit low.” He said he has handed out stiffer penalties in similar cases, according to a report by Tom Benning in the Dallas Morning News on Friday. He cited cooperation from Barfield as one of the mitigating factors in the sentence. In addition to the prison sentence, Barfield was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2.5 million. Barfield was facing a maximum sentence of nearly thirty years in prison.
A home that Barfield had purchased with funds from the campaign was sold for just over $300,000 to provide funds for restitution, according to an article by Chuck Lindell in the Austin American-Statesman.
Barfield used the funds embezzled from the Dewhurst campaign to pay personal expenses, including his home mortgage, school tuition for his children, personal investments, and other living expenses. according to the court felony information document obtained by Breitbart Texas (attached below).
He was also charged with making a false income tax return and illegally converting funds to a federal candidate. He was charged with embezzling approximately $162,245 from Dewhurst’s Senatorial campaign.
While Barfield admitted to taking approximately $1.8 million from Dewhurst’s campaigns over a five-year period, campaign officials alleged the real number was in excess of $5 million over an even longer period of time. In addition, Barfield’s company, Alexander Group Consulting, was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for work that was not actually done for the campaign, including consulting fees, polling, and political mailings.
In November, prosecutors asked for a delay in the sentencing, according to an article by David Saleh Rauf in the Houston Chronicle. “Because this case involved a significant loss amount to the victim that occurred over a period of years, and the amount of documentation is extensive, the government requests more time to confer with the probation officer to ensure the report is complete regarding the criminal conduct,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Guess.
Barfield has fallen from being a trusted campaign consultant to a federally convicted and now sentenced felon.
Before the sentence was handed down, Barfield told the court, “I stand here ready to take the full punishment,” according to a report in the Houston Chronicle.
Breitbart Texas reached out to the former Lt. Governor for comment. Governor Dewhurst was not immediately available. If a comment is received, this article will be updated.