Hiring Kenneth Wainstein appears to be the best decision made by Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas.
On Friday, Superior Court Judge Robert Morin sentenced Arenas to 30 days in a halfway house and two years of probation, a lighter sentence than the plea agreement negotiated with the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of Columbia.
Arenas was charged with carrying a pistol without a license stemming from a well-publicized Dec. 21, 2009, incident in which he brought weapons into the locker room of the professional basketball team.
In January, the Wizards star struck a deal with the U.S. Attorney’s office that Wainstein once headed. Wainstein spent 19 years at the Justice Department in a number of key roles, including U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia from 2004 to 2006. Wainstein is now a partner at O’Melveny & Myers LLP.
Under the plea agreement, Arenas pleaded guilty to the charge, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The plea deal called for a jail sentence of six to 24 months, with probation, a split sentence or incarceration possible, although the government has agreed to seek a sentence at the low end of that range.
“I’d like to say, I’m really sorry this happened, and I wake up every day wishing it didn’t,” Arenas told the court, according to The Washington City Paper.
UPDATE: Wainstein released the following statement:
“We are very gratified with the outcome of today’s sentencing proceeding. Judge Morin’s decision was fair and measured; it reflected a deep understanding of the relevant facts and equities; and it carefully took into account both the facts relating to Mr. Arenas’ offense and the evidence of Mr. Arenas’ good character. The result was a sentence that serves justice very well.
Mr. Arenas is grateful to the Court, and looks forward to serving the community and once again being a force for good in the District of Columbia.”