"Duke" is Gonna be a Convict????

Discussion in 'SitRep' started by lesofprimus, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Got this today..... Im still in shock....

    Prosecutors Seek 10 Years for Cunningham
    Associated Press
    February 21, 2006

    SAN DIEGO - Prosecutors asked that former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham be sentenced to the maximum of 10 years in prison for his "stunning betrayal of the public trust" by accepting bribes.

    "Cunningham used his status as a war hero to get into Congress, and then he used his Congressional office to get rich," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum issued Friday. "For the better part of a decade, Cunningham, in effect, erected a 'for sale' sign upon our nation's capital."

    The former Vietnam War flying ace and "Top Gun" Navy flight instructor is to be sentenced March 3 in federal court in San Diego.

    The Cunningham case is one of several scandals involving Republican lawmakers that have left the party nervous about midterm elections in November that could return control Congress to Democrats. The investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff threatens to ensnare several members of Congress, and Rep. Tom DeLay, the former House Majority Leader, faces trial in Texas on money laundering charges.

    Cunningham, 64, resigned from Congress in November after pleading guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes - including a Rolls-Royce, yachts, homes and antique furnishings - in exchange for defense contracts and other favors.

    At the time, President George W. Bush criticized Cunningham, saying "the idea of a congressman taking money is outrageous." Bush said the former congressman should "pay a serious price" for breaking the law.

    Cunningham's attorney Lee Blalack said he would recommend a six-year sentence. Because of his age and history of prostate cancer, 10 years "is essentially a sentence of death," he said.

    "Given his contribution to this country and the community of San Diego, notwithstanding his admitted wrongdoing, such a sentence is grossly excessive," Blalack said.

    Prosecutors also asked U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns to order Cunningham to pay the nearly $1.6 million (euro1.35 million) he owes in taxes and forfeit his interest in his 7,628-square-foot (687-square-meter) mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, one of America's wealthiest communities. The home sold in December for $2.6 million (euro2.2 million).

    The prosecution's memo contained a copy of a "bribe menu" written under the congressional seal on Cunningham's office stationery. One column of figures represented the millions of dollars in contracts that could be "ordered" from Cunningham, according to prosecutors. The other column showed the amount of bribes Cunningham demanded in return.

    According to the sentencing memorandum, Cunningham offered co-conspirator No. 2 - identified elsewhere as defense contractor Mitchell Wade - $16 million in contracts in exchange for a $140,000 bribe, which came in the form of a 42-foot (12.6-meter) yacht, named the "Duke-Stir."

    Cunningham's position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence put him in a position to help Wade, founder of defense contractor MZM Inc. MZM's government contracts soared from less than $1 million a year to tens of millions of dollars per year.

    Besides Wade, three other co-conspirators were named in Cunningham's plea agreement. They were identified elsewhere as Brent Wilkes, founder of San Diego-based ADCS Inc.; New York businessman Thomas Kontogiannis; and John T. Michael, Kontogiannis' nephew.

    In his Nov. 28 plea agreement, Cunningham admitted to accepting a Rolls-Royce, yachts, homes and antique furnishings, including a 19th Century Louis-Phillipe commode.

    The sentencing memorandum provides a more complete catalogue of the bribes he received, including private jet flights and stays at top-of-the-line resorts and hotels.

    "Cunningham grew to expect luxury," prosecutors wrote. "His co-conspirators eagerly plied him with it."
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    A criminl is a criminal is a criminal.

    Politicians who are convicted of taking bribes should be sentenced to jail terms way out of proportion to their crimes because of they are a dangerous cancerous rot on govt.
     
  3. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    And as bad as I may feel about one of the great American aviators of all time, I agree with u and the justice system 100%....
    I thought that was ALL politicians....
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    That's a damn shame. Hate to see a decorated hero give in to temptation. But I do feel the sentence is appropriate.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Yep - I could of never believed this but the old saying goes "Power Corrupts."
     
  6. Blackwatch

    Blackwatch Member

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    I am sick at heart about him....he was one of my heros....he got what he deserved....
     
  7. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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