Former Congressman Cunningham Completes Prison Term For Bribery And Tax Evasion
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Aired 6/4/13 on KPBS News.
He will be released from a halfway house in New Orleans. Cunningham pleaded guilty in 2005 to bribery, tax evasion and mail and wire fraud.
Former San Diego Congressman Randy Cunningham completes his 100-month prison term today for taking more than $2 million in bribes from defense contractors in exchange for sending contracts their way.
Before Cunningham was sentenced in 2006, his lawyers told a judge their client would never survive a lengthy prison term because of his bouts with cancer, diabetes and depression.
But survive he did.
In fact, Cunningham earned 40 cents an hour cleaning, doing yardwork and serving food behind bars. It was a hard fall for the one-time military fighter pilot who received honors and served in Congress since 1991. From prison, Cunningham acknowledged having regrets but not the kind you'd have expected.
Cunningham said he wished he had never pleaded guilty. In letters he wrote to news outlets, Cunningham said he was pressed to make the plea by defense attorneys. Before he was sentenced though, Cunningham admitted accepting bribes that included cash, vacations, jewelry and furniture, including a Louis Philippe-period commode. Cunningham will be released from a halfway house in New Orleans and he's said he plans to settle in a cabin in Arkansas.