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      Former councilman Cromartie released from prison

      Former Columbia city councilman E.W. Cromartie is back home after serving nine months in federal prison for tax evasion. / FILE

      COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- A former Columbia city councilman is back home after serving nine months in federal prison for tax evasion.

      The State newspaper reports that E.W. Cromartie was released from prison to home detention last Friday.

      Columbia's longest serving city councilman was sentenced to a year and a day in prison after pleading guilty last year to one count of tax evasion and two counts of structuring bank deposits to avoid federal income reporting requirements.

      In March of 2010, Cromartie admitted failing to pay more than $25,000 in federal income taxes, and a plea agreement shows Cromartie also admitted making more than $200,000 in cash deposits and withdrawals just below the IRS minimums for transaction reporting rules.

      Related Stories Former Columbia councilman now in prison E.W. Cromartie sentenced to 366 days in prison Date set for Cromartie sentencing Cromartie pleads guilty to tax evasion Cromartie due in federal court Monday "He is disappointed with his own conduct and the consequences of his actions, and this is not just some fabrication," Cromartie's attorney I.S. Leevy Johnson said after the sentence was handed down

      Federal sentencing guidelines allowed him to be released after serving most of his sentence, which began Jan. 28.

      Cromartie's lawyer, I.S. Leevy Johnson, says the former city councilman taught English to his fellow prisoners while incarcerated.

      Johnson says Cromartie is relieved and happy to be home.

      Cromartie served on Columbia City Council for more than 25 years.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)