NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A judge has decided that a once-prominent New York City politician can serve 500 hours of community service rather than jail time for income tax evasion.

Andrew Stein tells 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa that he’s “very relieved”

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Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis imposed the sentence Tuesday after former New York City Council President Andrew Stein apologized and said he’ll live with the pain of his misdeeds for the rest of his life.

“I’m extremely sorry for the mistakes I made and I look forward to making a contribution again,” Stein said.

Ellis said he had planned to sentence Stein to prison but changed his mind after he listened to arguments on Stein’s behalf.

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WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell with details from the case

Stein, a Democrat, had served as Manhattan borough president and state assemblyman. Stein was originally arrested in a prosecution linked to the fraudulent activity of Kenneth Starr, a financial adviser to celebrities who was recently sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

Stein admitted to evading taxes on over $1 million in income in one year. He insisted he gave his heart and soul to public service and thought he contributed to society overall.

Stein said outside court that he hopes to perform his community service by helping the elderly.

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