Sylvia Handy gets two & a half years in prison

The 'Phantom Employee' scandal has ended with former Hidalgo County Pct. 1 Commissioner Sylvia Handy getting two and a half years in federal prison.

Handy appreared before U.S. District court Judge Ricardo Hinojosa in McAllen early Friday afternoon.

The former Hidalgo County commissioner pleaded guilty to harboring illegal immigrants and tax evasion.

Handy sobbed in court as she tried to ask Judge Hinojosa for mercy during her sentencing.

After more than two hours, Judge Hinojosa reached the decision to sentence Handy to two years and six months in federal prison.

Judge Hinojosa ordered Handy to pay a $7,500 dollar fine as well as $3,000 dollars in in restitution to the Internal Revenue Serice.

Handy must serve three years probation following her release from federal prison.

Judge Hinojosa allowed Handy to remain free until she must report for her prison assignment at 2 p.m. on August 20th.

Action 4 News will add more information as it becomes available.