Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009 | Former Cheetahs strip club owner Michael Galardi was released from house arrest in San Diego yesterday after serving 18 months for fraud and racketeering — a year less than his original sentence.
Galardi, 47, who admitted to bribing San Diego city councilmen and Las Vegas politicians and then testified against them, was freed early because of his participation in an alcohol treatment program.
“He got a reduction of his sentence by participating in a residential substance abuse program and good time credits,” said his lawyer, Robert Rose.
Galardi spent a year of his term in a federal prison in Englewood, Colo., and was transferred to a San Diego halfway house in July, Rose said. He worked during the day at a job Rose declined to describe, and was required to pay 25 percent of his salary to the halfway house. In November, he was permitted to live in his San Diego home, still under detention.
“It was a difficult period of time to be away from his children,” Rose said. Before he was taken into custody, Galardi was the primary caregiver for his children, then ages 8 and 10. “He’s very relieved to be a free man.”
Galardi’s early release is not unusual for someone who managed to get into the Bureau of Prison’s Residential Drug Abuse Program, legal experts said.