BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The former executive director of the Chelsea Housing Authority who pleaded guilty to charges of trying to hide his inflated salary from state and federal authorities has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Michael McLaughlin was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Boston.

U.S. District Attorney Carmen Ortiz said afterward, she was pleased the Chelsea Housing Authority had an opportunity to be heard.

McLaughlin pleaded guilty in February to under-reporting his salary in annual housing authority budgets from 2008 to 2011 and submitting the false figures to state and federal regulators.

He resigned in 2011 under pressure from Gov. Deval Patrick after The Boston Globe reported his annual salary was $360,000.

His lawyer said he should not get any prison time because he has no criminal record and needs to take care of his sick wife.

On Wednesday, the judge said McLaughlin “picked the pocket of the people.”

His case sparked a call for statewide reform of Massachusetts housing authorities.

McLaughlin has until mid-September to turn himself in and start his prison sentence.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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