READING, Pa. (AP) — The former president of a Philadelphia labor union has been sentenced to four years in prison for his role in what federal prosecutors said was embezzlement of more than $600,000 of union funds.

Brian Burrows, 64, of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, former president of Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, was also ordered Wednesday in federal court in Reading to forfeit almost $136,000 and to pay an amount of restitution to be determined later.

Burrows and John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, the union's longtime business manager, were convicted in December of conspiracy, embezzlement and other counts. Prosecutors said they used the money for items including home renovations, concerts, groceries and even a cookie tray for the christening of a relative’s baby.

Dougherty is scheduled to be sentenced July 11.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Burrows addressed the court for 45 minutes, portraying himself as a faithful steward of union funds who put thousands of dollars in pension benefits, health care, and profit-sharing checks back in the pockets of members.

“That wasn’t by luck,” Burrows said repeatedly, adding that his daily job "wasn’t to see what was on John Dougherty’s expense reports.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bea Witzleben noted that she hadn't heard an apology and said Burrows seemed to be saying that if he saved union electricians money here and there "it was OK to steal from them.”

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl criticized Burrows not only for an "egregious breach” of the trust of union members but for failing to stop wrongdoing by others, saying he had “clearly ignored the warning signs by auditors and other union officials.”

Dougherty, 63, was previously convicted of bribery for keeping a city council member on the union payroll to help keep a tight grip on construction jobs. The former council member, Bobby Henon, is serving a 3 1/2 year prison term.

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