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Schmitt: 'I have every intention of fulfilling this term'

Green Bay mayor Jim Schmitt appears at a news conference with his attorneys after being sentenced on campaign finance charges, December 5, 2016. (WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- For the first time since the charges were filed in September, Green Bay mayor Jim Schmitt answered questions from reporters.

After his court appearance, Schmitt held a news conference at the NEW Community Shelter. Not only is the shelter a place where people go to rebuild their lives, it's also the place where Schmitt plans to perform some of his community service.

After 14 years in office, the mayor is no stranger to meeting with reporters. But he's never done it quite like this.

"So I'm here today, both humbled and apologetic for the mistakes I've made," Schmitt said.

What the mayor calls mistakes, the special prosecutor called crimes. Schmitt says he understands the gravity of the situation.

"This is serious," Schmitt said. "I was in court today. That was the first time I was ever in front of a judge."

Schmitt, who was surrounded by his legal team and family, says he's embarrassed by his actions. While he says he did not intentionally violate the law, he agreed to plead guilty to three misdemeanors.

"I take full responsibility for my failings in this area. I know I let people down including my supporters, my friends and especially my family. For that, I apologize," Schmitt told reporters.

Schmitt expressed his hope that the community will understand how this happened and that it won't happen again.

"I hope the public sees that I'm human, and that I made a mistake and that I rushed something but that my love for the city and commitment to the city is going to continue," Schmitt said.

As for his critics, Schmitt says it's time for them to move on.

"There are some people who will never get over this. And if it wasn't this it would be something else," Schmitt said. "I owned up to this January 15th two years ago, okay? I've been living with this, it's been very hard on the family but, look, people are going to think what they want. I can only apologize so many times."

As for Schmitt's political future, he says he has every intention of finishing his term. But it may be his last.

"I want to start thinking about the next 20 years of my life. I love the city and I'm going to benefit the city but it may not be as mayor," Schmitt said.

Schmitt's current term is up in April 2019.

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