Fixer-Uppers Often Trip Up Politicians
Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is only the latest political figure to land in a public corruption scandal because of alleged gifts and favors for home improvement projects.
A few of the more notable examples:
-- Former Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland, once one of the Republican Party's brightest and fastest-rising stars, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison in March 2005 after admitting that he sold his influence for more than $100,000 in improvements at his lakeside cottage, among other gifts. He had resigned the previous summer amid a gathering drive to impeach him.
After serving 10 months in prison, Rowland -- dubbed "Johnny R" by President Bush -- told The Post's Michael Leahy that he has traveled to Rhode Island to lecture high school athletes about the importance of ethics, and to North Carolina to speak to the John Locke Foundation about his own failings and what he calls the "culture of arrogance."
(Related Post: Roots of the Stevens Investigation)
-- Bernard B. Kerik, New York's former police commissioner, was indicted in November, accused of accepting payments from a New Jersey company eager to shed its mob reputation to win lucrative contracts with the city.
Kerik was a former aide to ex-New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and a one-time nominee to be head of the Department of Homeland Security.
Interstate Industrial Corp. of New Jersey was under investigation by four government agencies for alleged ties to organized crime when it spent more than $250,000 on marble bathrooms, a whirlpool tub and a grand marble rotunda in Kerik's Bronx apartment.
-- Former Atlanta Mayor William C. Campbell, who served two terms as mayor from 1994 to 2002, was indicted in 2004 after being snared in a federal corruption investigation that has led to the convictions of 10 other former city officials and contractors.
Federal prosecutors charged that Campbell ran the biggest city in the South with a "What's in it for me?" attitude and took more than $160,000 in home improvements, among other things, in exchange for city contracts.
In March 2006, he was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 30 months in prison.
-- Other politicians tangled in trouble for home fix-ups include former Maryland state Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, once a powerful figure in Annapolis who, prosecutors say, received free or discounted improvements to his Baltimore home worth $85,000; Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.), the congressman sentenced to more than eight years in prison in 2006, who had a businessman buy his boat and help finance his new home; and former D.C. mayor and current councilman Marion Barry, who was accused of giving a favorable contract to a Washington businessman who helped renovate the then-mayor's home. Barry was never charged in that matter.
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