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Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace

Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace: Government for Sale
Selling public services, decisions, licenses, or assets

See the trouble and disgrace main page, as well as the FAQ and the Political Graveyard privacy policy, for important explanations and disclaimers.

in chronological order

  Joseph Cassidy (c.1866-1920) — also known as "Curley Joe"; "The King of Queens" — of Long Island City (now part of Queens), Queens County, N.Y.; Far Rockaway, Queens, Queens County, N.Y. Born about 1866. Democrat. Borough president of Queens, New York, 1902-05; defeated, 1905, 1909; delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1904; leader of Queens County Democratic Party, 1910-11; indicted in 1912 for selling a nomination for for Supreme Court Justice to William Willett; convicted in 1914, and sentenced to one year to eighteen months in prison; released in 1916. Suffered a stroke of apoplexy, and died soon after, in Far Rockaway, Queens, Queens County, N.Y., November 21, 1920 (age about 54 years). Burial location unknown.
  John Henry Hoeppel (1881-1976) — also known as John H. Hoeppel — of Arcadia, Los Angeles County, Calif. Born near Tell City, Perry County, Ind., February 10, 1881. Democrat. Served in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War; served in the U.S. Army during World War I; U.S. Representative from California 12th District, 1933-37; defeated (Prohibition), 1946. Catholic. Member, Elks; Moose; American Legion; United Spanish War Veterans; Veterans of Foreign Wars. Convicted in 1936 of conspiring to sell an appointment to West Point; sentenced to prison. Died at Huntington Care Center, Arcadia, Los Angeles County, Calif., September 21, 1976 (age 95 years, 224 days). Interment at Resurrection Cemetery, San Gabriel, Calif.
  Relatives: Married, November 11, 1907, to Annie Seitz.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  James Vito Auditore (1889-1973) — also known as James V. Auditore; "The Millionaire Stevedore" — of Brooklyn, Kings County, N.Y.; Great Neck, Nassau County, Long Island, N.Y.; Valley Stream, Nassau County, Long Island, N.Y. Born in Brooklyn, Kings County, N.Y., July 15, 1889. Democrat. Alternate delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1920; owner of two stevedoring companies; indicted in 1947, with two other men, and charged with conspiracy to collect illegal fees on New York City piers, by getting control of the city-owned facilities and reselling access to shippers at three times the city rates; convicted on sixteen counts; sentenced to four and a half to ten years in prison. Italian ancestry. Died July 3, 1973 (age 83 years, 353 days). Burial location unknown.
  Leonard Ray Blanton (1930-1996) — also known as Ray Blanton — of Adamsville, McNairy County, Tenn. Born in Hardin County, Tenn., April 10, 1930. Democrat. Member of Tennessee state house of representatives, 1964-66; U.S. Representative from Tennessee 7th District, 1967-73; defeated in primary, 1988; candidate for U.S. Senator from Tennessee, 1972; Governor of Tennessee, 1975-79. Methodist. Member, Lions; Moose; Shriners; Freemasons. Ousted as Governor amid charges of selling pardons; later convicted of conspiracy to sell liquor licenses and served 23 months in prison. Died, of kidney disease, at Jackson-Madison County Hospital, Jackson, Madison County, Tenn., November 22, 1996 (age 66 years, 226 days). Interment at Shiloh Church Cemetery, Shiloh, Tenn.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — NNDB dossier
  William James McCuen (c.1943-2000) — also known as Bill McCuen — of Hot Springs, Garland County, Ark.; Heber Springs, Cleburne County, Ark. Born in Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Ark., about 1943. Democrat. School teacher; Arkansas land commissioner, 1981-85; secretary of state of Arkansas, 1985-94; defeated in primary, 1994; candidate for U.S. Representative from Arkansas 4th District, 1992. After leaving office as Secretary of State, he admitted accepting kickbacks from two supporters he gave jobs, and not paying taxes on the money. He also admitted to conspiring with a political consultant to split $53,560 embezzled from the state in a sham transaction. He was indicted on corruption charges in 1995. On January 5, 1996, he pleaded guilty to felony counts of tax evasion and accepting a kickback; he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of trading in public office. Sentenced to 17 years in prison, and fined. Released on parole (due to illness) in February 1999. Died of colon cancer and a stroke, in Heber Springs, Cleburne County, Ark., September 9, 2000 (age about 57 years). Interment somewhere in Van Buren, Ark.
  Rod R. Blagojevich (b. 1956) — also known as Rod Blagojevich; "Blago" — of Chicago, Cook County, Ill. Born in Chicago, Cook County, Ill., December 10, 1956. Democrat. Lawyer; member of Illinois state house of representatives, 1993-96; U.S. Representative from Illinois 5th District, 1997-2003; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 2000, 2004, 2008; Governor of Illinois, 2003-09; solicited bribes from potential candidates for appointment to Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat; arrested by federal agents in December 2008, and set for trial on federal corruption charges; in January 2009, based on charges that he abused his authority and attempted to sell authorizations, vetoes, and appointments, he was impeached by the Illinois House, convicted by a unanimous vote of the Illinois Senate, and prohibited from holding public office in the state; tried in federal court in 2010-11, and after a mistrial, was ultimately found guilty on eighteen counts, including bribery and extortion; sentenced to 14 years in federal prison; an appeal later overturned five of the eighteen convictions, but did not change his prison sentence. Serbian ancestry. Still living as of 2019.
  Relatives: Married to Patricia 'Patti' Mell (daughter of Richard F. Mell; sister of Deborah Mell (1968-)).
  Political family: Mell-Blagojevich family of Chicago, Illinois.
  Cross-reference: Daniel Lipinski
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — votes in Congress from the Washington Post — NNDB dossier — OurCampaigns candidate detail
  Books by Rod Blagojevich: The Governor (2009)
  Books about Rod Blagojevich: Elizabeth Brackett, Pay to Play: How Rod Blagojevich Turned Political Corruption Into a National Sideshow — Jeff Coen & John Chase, Golden: How Rod Blagojevich Talked Himself out of the Governor's Office and into Prison
Emmett Pugh Emmett S. Pugh III — of Beckley, Raleigh County, W.Va. Mayor of Beckley, W.Va., 1988-2013. In April 2012, he was accused, in two complaints filed with the West Virginia Ethics Commission, of accepting improper gifts, including shares of development firms, in return for free use of city resources; without admitting guilt, he agreed to retire as mayor, and repay the cost of the investigation. Still living as of 2014.
  Image source: The State Journal, April 4, 2012
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