Jim Traficant's Political Life Timeline - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Jim Traficant's Political Life Timeline

  • 1980: Elected sheriff of Mahoning County, Ohio. Gains national attention for refusing to enforce foreclosure orders on homes of unemployed steelworkers.
  • 1983: Acquitted of federal bribery and tax evasion charges after defending himself at trial and arguing that he took money from mobsters to overlook gambling, loan-sharking, drug trafficking and prostitution as part of a one-man sting operation.
  • 1984: Elected to U.S. House.
  • 1987: U.S. Tax Court rules he owes $108,000 in taxes for the $163,000 he accepted from mobsters in 1980. Traficant's paychecks are garnisheed by the IRS.
  • 1988: Runs for president.
  • 2000: Traficant announces during his re-election campaign that he has turned over telephone, rent and payroll records to investigators in a federal corruption probe. Elected to ninth term.
  • 2001: Votes to re-elect Republican Dennis Hastert as House speaker, angering fellow Democrats who strip him of committee assignments.
  • May 2001: Pleads innocent to 10-count federal indictment that includes charges of bribery, conspiracy and racketeering.
  • January 2002: Ohio's Republican-controlled legislature eliminates Traficant's Youngstown-area district to reflect population shift. He later vows to campaign as an independent in newly drawn district.
  • Feb. 5, 2002: Trial begins in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.
  • April 11, 2002: Traficant convicted of all counts. House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., calls for his immediate resignation and the House ethics committee announces it will meet to consider the charges.
  • April 16, 2002: House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., offer resolutions to expel Traficant. Neither required an immediate consideration.
  • April 17, 2002: House ethics committee designates four lawmakers to conduct an inquiry into whether Traficant violated House rules.
  • April 22, 2002: Traficant files an appeal in federal court in Cleveland asking for the verdict to be overturned and a new trial convened because of judicial misconduct.
  • May 6, 2002: Traficant files for re-election to the 17th District as an independent.
  • June 25, 2002: A federal judge rejects Traficant's request for a new trial.
  • June 27, 2002: House ethics committee issues a 10-count list of alleged violations of House rules committed by Traficant.
  • July 15, 2002: House ethics committee begins hearing into whether Traficant is guilty of the 10 violations of House rules.
  • July 18, 2002: House ethics committee finds Traficant guilty of nine House rule violations, dismisses 10th count.
  • July 24: House votes 420-1 to expel Traficant.

  • July 30: Traficant sentenced in U.S. District Court in Cleveland to eight years in prison and taken into custody.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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