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Convicted Ex-Lawmakers Rake In Pensions

Whitney Stewart  
CNSNews.com Correspondent
June 22, 2007

(CNSNews.com)

At least 20 former members of Congress convicted of a range of criminal offenses continue to draw taxpayer-supported pensions each year, according to the National Taxpayers Union.

Congressional pensions are not public records, and the NTU says it bases its estimates on a lawmaker's time of service, eligibility, and life expectancy. The numbers are adjusted based on factors such as cost of living changes, a former member's military service and marital status.

All of the following were former members of the House of Representatives, with the exception of Durenberger, a former senator. Fauntroy was a non-voting delegate in the House representing the District of Columbia.

Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.)
- Convicted in 1996 on mail fraud charges
- Pension in 1995: $96,500
- Pension in 2006: $126,000

David Durenberger (R-Minn.)
- Convicted on fraud charges (1994 plea bargain)
- Pension in 1995: $65,000
- Pension in 2006: $86,000

John Murphy (D-N.Y.)
- Convicted on charges of conspiracy and accepting unlawful gratuity/ABSCAM scandal of 1980
- Pension in 2006: $79,000

Austin J. Murphy (D-Pa.)
- Convicted in 1999 on voter fraud charges
- Pension in 1995: $59,500
- Pension in 2006: $78,000

Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.)
- Convicted in 2005 on charges of bribery
- Pension with military service: $64,000; without military service: $36,000

Carroll Hubbard (D-Ky.)
- Convicted in 1994 on fraud and corruption charges
- Pension in 1993: $45,500
- Pension in 2006: $61,500

Mario Biaggi (D-N.Y.)
- Convicted in 1988 on charges of accepting an illegal gratuity and obstruction of justice
- Pension in 1989: $37,000
- Pension in 2006: $60,000

Walter Fauntroy (D-D.C.)
- Convicted in 1995 on false financial disclosure charges
- Pension in 2006: $55,000 (This assumes he opted to receive full, deferred pension upon turning 60. He may also have qualified for early, reduced pension under CSRS rules.)

Mary Rose Oakar (D-Ohio)
- Convicted in 1998 on charges relating to financial disclosure irregularities
- First qualified in 2000 for pension: $46,500
- Pension in 2006: $54,000

George Hansen (R-Idaho)
- Convicted in 1983 of charges of filing false financial disclosure statements
- Pension in 2006: $53,000 (Conviction was vacated in 1995.)

Joe Kolter (D-Pa.)
- Convicted in 1996 on fraud and conspiracy charges
- Pension in 1993: $34,000
- Pension in 2006: $47,000

James Traficant (D-Ohio)
- Convicted in 2002 on racketeering and numerous corruption charges
- Pension in 2003: $37,000
- Pension in 2006: $40,000

Larry Smith (D-Fla.)
- Convicted in 1994 on tax evasion charges
- First qualified for pension in 2001: $26,500
- Pension in 2006: $30,000

Frederick Richmond (D-N.Y.)
- Convicted for tax evasion and drug possession in 1982
- Pension in 2006: $29,000

Bob Ney (R-Ohio)
- Convicted in 2006 on charges of conspiracy and making false statements, in connection with the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.
- Pension in 2016 when he turns 62: $29,000 (eligible for early retirement at age 56 in 2010, but pension would be reduced by 30 percent)

Carl C. Perkins (D-Ky.)
- Convicted in 1994 on charges of fraud and making false statements
- Will quality for pension in 2016: $24,000

Albert Bustamante (D-Texas)
- Convicted in 1993 on racketeering charges
- Pension in 1997: $19,500
- Pension in 2006: $23,000

Donald E. "Buz" Lukens (R-Ohio)
- Convicted in 1989 on charges of "contributing to delinquency of minor" (a misdemeanor)
- convicted in 1996 on charges of conspiracy and bribery
- Probably wouldn't qualify for pension because of cash-out option, but would have initially received pension of $18,000 (or less than $10,000 if not counting military service.)

John Rowland (R-Conn.)
- Served in Congress from 1985 to 1991
- Convicted in 2004 on corruption charges after resigning as governor of Connecticut
- Will qualify in 2019 for $8,400 pension, if married

Michael "Ozzie" Myers (D-Pa.)
- Convicted on charges of conspiracy and accepting unlawful gratuity, in the ABSCAM scandal in 1980.
- Pension in 2006: $8,000

According to the NTU, at least another six former lawmakers have been convicted on criminal charges, but do not quality for pensions because of insufficient service in Congress.


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