Assemblyman Dan Henry sentenced to 12 months and a day in prison

Skagway Assemblyman Dan Henry has been sentenced to federal prison for 12 months and one day for failure to file his taxes for his business, the Skagway Fish Co.

Henry was convicted on four counts of willful failure to file income tax returns between 2009 and 2012. On top of his time in prison, he will be required to pay $600,064 in restitution and will spend a year on supervised release after his sentence is complete.

In a written statement to the court, Henry said heavy drinking and gambling resulted in a loss of money set aside for the restaurant’s 2005 season and tax payment. He wrote that he continually returned to Las Vegas in the hopes of winning his money back, but instead continued to lose.

According to his letter, alcoholism has been a cause for dismissal from the Chicago Board of Trade and had resulted in a DUI conviction.

He apologized for his conduct, and noted that there is no one to fill his shoes at the restaurant.

Henry’s absence will be felt at the municipal level too. Having served on the borough assembly for almost 20 years, Henry’s current term ends in October 2017. He must report to a federal prison by Nov. 1.

Mayor Mark Schaefer said what happens to Henry’s position depends largely on when Henry resigns.

“I’m certainly not going to ask him to do that. He hasn’t done anything from the municipality’s ordinance viewpoint that makes him ineligible to serve,” he said.

As to whether the position will be appointed by the assembly or put on the upcoming ballot, Schaefer couldn’t say.

“At this point, we patiently wait for him to let us know what he’s going to do when,” he said.

Schaefer said the assembly first learned of the incident in February when it went public. Henry informed the table prior to an assembly meeting. But as he has done nothing against the municipality, Schaefer said there is no reason for him to step down.

Despite the current situation, Schaefer said he has enjoyed serving on the assembly with Henry.

“His heart is in the community,” he said.

Henry entered a plea agreement this February after two years of negotiations.

Defense attorney Robert Bundy requested a minimum sentence of eight months, and prosecutors could request at most two years. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess sentenced Henry to 12 months and one day.

Kelly Cavanaugh, Assistant United States Attorney, said Henry was charged with four misdemeanors. The maximum sentence on one misdemeanor is 12 months. But Burgess sentenced Henry to 12 months for three charges to be served concurrently. Whether Henry will have to serve all 366 days is up to the federal Bureau of Prisons.

Due to the nature of his charges, Henry will be placed in a federal prison at a location to be decided by the Bureau of Prisons.

“They take into account the type of crime, the sentence, other characteristics of that person, and then they make a determination what that classification will be. And then they assign him to a facility,” he said.

Cavanaugh said Judge Burgess gave general deterrents during the sentencing, reminding people how important it is to pay taxes.

“He noted that because of the amount of money that was involved and the period of time that was involved, he characterized it as a serious crime.”

He said restitution is generally due by the time supervised released is complete, but there may be exceptions and a time limit was not discussed at sentencing.

Upon Henry’s release, he will be under probation for one year.