Timeline Of U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr.'s Political Life
April 11, 2002 at 8:09 PM EST - Updated June 29 at 8:00 PM
Nov. 5, 1980: Elected sheriff of Mahoning County. Gains national attention while sheriff from 1981-1984 for refusing to enforce foreclosure orders on the homes of several unemployed steelworkers.
Aug. 9, 1982: Pleads innocent to two-count federal indictment alleging bribery and tax evasion.
April 23, 1983: Trial begins in which Traficant defends himself and admits taking money from mobsters to overlook gambling, loan-sharking, drug trafficking and prostitution, saying it was part of a sting operation in Mahoning County.
June 16, 1983: Acquitted of bribery charges.
Nov. 6, 1984: He unseats Republican Lyle Williams by 17,565 votes to win election to House of Representatives in northeast Ohio's 17th District.
Nov. 10, 1987: U.S. Tax Court rules Traficant owes $108,000 in taxes on the $163,000 he accepted from mobsters in 1980. Traficant paychecks are garnisheed by the IRS.
1988: Traficant runs for president in Democratic primaries in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and wins one delegate.
Sept. 22, 1993: Traficant accompanies Cleveland-area autoworker John Demjanjuk back to Ohio from Israel, where Demjanjuk was acquitted of being former Nazi gas chamber operator "Ivan the Terrible." Traficant had lobbied vigorously on Demjanjuk's behalf.
Jan. 28, 2000: Traficant announces during re-election campaign that he has turned over telephone, rent and payroll records to investigators in a federal corruption probe.
Feb. 22, 2000: He says during a campaign debate that he won't resign despite the federal investigation of his activities.
March 7, 2000: He wins re-nomination in a four-way Democratic primary despite his prediction that he would be indicted.
Nov. 7, 2000: Traficant wins a ninth term with 50 percent of the vote in a three-way race.
Jan. 3, 2001: He follows through on his threat and votes to re-elect Republican Dennis Hastert as House speaker. Democrats retaliate by refusing to give him a committee assignment.
May 4, 2001: A federal grand jury indicts Traficant on 10-count indictment, including bribery, conspiracy and racketeering.
May 11, 2001: Traficant pleads innocent to all charges and tells the judge it's "asinine" to question his ability to defend himself.
Dec. 7, 2001: Judge allows Traficant to defend himself in court, even though he's not an attorney, but refuses to arrange the trial schedule to accommodate his congressional duties.
Jan. 23, 2002: Ohio's Republican-controlled legislature eliminates Traficant's Youngstown-area district to reflect population shift, reducing Ohio's congressional delegation from 19 to 18.
Feb. 5, 2002: Trial begins in U.S. District Court in Cleveland and Traficant quickly challenges the judge on trial arrangements, including a video feed to a second courtroom and scope of the jury pool.
Feb. 20, 2002: Traficant says he will run for re-election as an independent in the newly drawn 17th congressional district.
April 11, 2002: Traficant convicted of all 10 charges.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)