Former area congressman honored for service

WASHINGTON (AP) - A former Ohio congressman was honored Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol as one of the first past lawmakers to receive an award for distinguished service.

Democrat Louis Stokes, 78, was recognized for his representation of Cleveland from 1969 to 1998.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and former Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., created the award last year to honor former Congress members for exceptional service.

Stokes (pictured, above) was chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Select Committee on Assassinations and Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. He also served on the House Appropriations subcommittee for veterans and housing programs.

Stokes and former Republican Rep. John Jacob Rhodes of Arizona were the first two legislators chosen for the award last December.

A ceremony Tuesday honored them and two other former congressmen, Republican Bob Michel of Illinois and Democrat Don Edwards of California.

Stokes now works as senior counsel for the Washington-based law firm Squire, Sanders & Dempsey and a senior visiting scholar at Case-Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)