The Political Graveyard: A Database of American History
Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace

Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace: Nepotism
Hiring or appointing relatives

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in chronological order

Jeff Davis Jefferson Davis (1862-1913) — also known as Jeff Davis — of Little Rock, Pulaski County, Ark. Born in Little River County, Ark., May 6, 1862. Democrat. Arkansas state attorney general, 1899-1901; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arkansas, 1900, 1904 (member, Committee to Notify Presidential Nominee), 1912; Governor of Arkansas, 1901-07; U.S. Senator from Arkansas, 1907-13; died in office 1913; in December 1907, it was disclosed that he had hired his own daughters for two positions on his Senate staff; the scandal discredited him and ended his influence in the Senate. Died, from apoplexy, in Little Rock, Pulaski County, Ark., January 3, 1913 (age 50 years, 242 days). Interment at Mt. Holly Cemetery, Little Rock, Ark.
  Presumably named for: Jefferson Davis
  Relatives: Son of Lewis W. Davis and Mary Davis; married 1882 to Ina McKenzie; married 1911 to Leila Carter.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — National Governors Association biography — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Image source: American Monthly Review of Reviews, November 1902
  Robert Green Crow (1883-1942) — also known as Robert G. Crow; Bob Crow — of Caruthersville, Pemiscot County, Mo. Born in Scott County, Mo., December 24, 1883. Republican. Insurance agent; postmaster at Caruthersville, Mo., 1909-14; indicted in October 1915 on federal charges of revealing information from the federal civil service examination, to help his half-brother, James L. Crow; pleaded guilty in April 1916, and was fined $500. Member, Elks; Eagles; Modern Woodmen. On December 21, 1914, he mysteriously disappeared from the Pontiac Hotel, St. Louis, Mo., leaving behind all of his clothes, and the room disordered as if a scuffle had taken place; he was thought to have been kidnapped and murdered by a gang, but a few months later, he was found to be serving in the U.S. Army. Died in Harlingen, Cameron County, Tex., September 16, 1942 (age 58 years, 266 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of James Levi Eugene Elijah Crow and Mahulda Paralee (Rodden) Crow; half-brother of Charles Augustus Crow; married, September 16, 1904, to Ella Pauline Brown.
  Florence Elizabeth Smith Knapp (1875-1949) — also known as Florence E. S. Knapp; Florence Elizabeth Smith — of Syracuse, Onondaga County, N.Y. Born in Syracuse, Onondaga County, N.Y., March 25, 1875. Republican. School teacher; superintendent of schools; dean, College of Home Economics, Syracuse University; delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1920, 1924 (alternate); secretary of state of New York, 1925-27; in 1927, an investigation discovered her maladministration of the 1925 state census; she had paid salaries to relatives and others who did no census work, forged indorsements on checks, received money she was not entitled to, and burned state records to conceal evidence of these things; resigned her position at Syracuse University; indicted on various charges in 1928, tried twice and eventually convicted of grand larceny; sentenced to 30 days in jail. Female. Episcopalian. Member, Grange. Died, following a heart attack, in Marcy State Hospital (insane asylum), Marcy, Oneida County, N.Y., October 26, 1949 (age 74 years, 215 days). Interment at Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, N.Y.
  Relatives: Daughter of James E. Smith and Mary (Hancock) Smith; married to Philip Schuyler Knapp.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Ernest King Bramblett (1901-1966) — also known as Ernest K. Bramblett — of Pacific Grove, Monterey County, Calif. Born in Fresno, Fresno County, Calif., April 25, 1901. Republican. Insurance business; mayor of Pacific Grove, Calif., 1938-46; U.S. Representative from California, 1947-55 (11th District 1947-53, 13th District 1953-55). Protestant. Member, Phi Delta Kappa; Elks; Moose; Rotary; Freemasons; Scottish Rite Masons; Knights Templar; Shriners. Investigated by a federal grand jury in Washington over payroll padding in his office; he had hired his wife, received kickbacks from employees who did no work, and made false statements to the House disbursing officer; indicted on 18 counts in June 1953; pleaded not guilty; tried in February 1954; convicted on seven counts; his conviction was stayed pending appeal, but ultimately upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court; fined $5,000, placed on one-year probation, and separately required to pay restitution. Died December 27, 1966 (age 65 years, 246 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of James Mitchell Bramblett and Bettie Frances (King) Bramblett; married, May 5, 1924, to Lois Candace Bowker.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Abraham J. Gellinoff (1902-1994) — of Manhattan, New York County, N.Y. Born November 18, 1902. Justice of New York Supreme Court 1st District, 1961-76. Jewish. Resigned during an inquiry into the appointment of his son-in-law as an arbitrator. Died in Manhattan, New York County, N.Y., January 21, 1994 (age 91 years, 64 days). Interment at Riverside Cemetery, Saddle Brook, N.J.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Irving H. Saypol (1905-1977) — of Manhattan, New York County, N.Y. Born in Manhattan, New York County, N.Y., September 3, 1905. Lawyer; U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, 1949-51; prosecuted Ethel and Julius Rosenberg on espionage charges; Justice of New York Supreme Court 1st District, 1952-68. Jewish. Member, American Bar Association; Federal Bar Association; Knights of Pythias. Indicted in May 1976, along with Surrogate S. Samuel DiFalco, on bribery and perjury charges, in connection with an alleged scheme to obtain appraisal and auction commissions for Saypol's son; the charges were later dismissed. Died, of cancer, in Manhattan, New York County, N.Y., June 30, 1977 (age 71 years, 300 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Louis Saypol and Minnie (Michakin) Saypol; married, September 29, 1925, to Adele D. Kaplan.
  Bess Myerson (1924-2014) — Born in Bronx, Bronx County, N.Y., July 16, 1924. Democrat. Miss America, 1945; first and only Jewish woman to win the pageant; musician; television personality; New York City commissioner of consumer affairs, 1969-73, and commissioner of cultural affairs, 1983-87; candidate for U.S. Senator from New York, 1980; accused in 1987 of bribing Justice Hortense Gabel by giving her daughter a city job; meanwhile, the judge reduced child support payments for Carl Andrew Capasso, Myerson's married lover; the scandal was called the "Bess Mess"; she was forced to resign as city consumer affairs commissioner; indicted on federal bribery charges in 1988, along with Capasso and Gabel; tried and found not guilty. Female. Jewish. Died in Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, Calif., December 14, 2014 (age 90 years, 151 days). Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Santa Monica, Calif.
  Relatives: Daughter of Louis Myerson and Bella (Podell) Myerson; married 1946 to Allan Wayne; married 1962 to Arnold Grant.
  Epitaph: "You Will Always Be Our Queen."
  See also Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier — Internet Movie Database profile — Find-A-Grave memorial — OurCampaigns candidate detail
  Hortense W. Gabel (1912-1990) — also known as Hortense Wittstein — of Manhattan, New York County, N.Y. Born in Bronx, Bronx County, N.Y., December 16, 1912. Democrat. Lawyer; New York City Rent and Rehabilitation Commissioner, 1962-65; Justice of New York Supreme Court 1st District, 1975-87; appointed 1975; resigned 1987; accused in 1987 of accepting a bribe from New York Consumer Affairs Commissioner Bess Myerson in the form of a city job for her daughter; allegedly in return, the judge reduced child support payments for Myerson's lover, Carl A. Capasso; the scandal was called "the Bess Mess"; she resigned as Justice; indicted on federal bribery charges in 1988, along with Myerson and Capasso; tried and found not guilty. Female. Jewish. Died, from a heart attack, in Manhattan, New York County, N.Y., December 7, 1990 (age 77 years, 356 days). Interment at Calverton National Cemetery, Calverton, Long Island, N.Y.
  Relatives: Daughter of Rubin J. Wittstein and Bessie Wittstein; married 1944 to Milton Gabel.
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Robert William Packwood (b. 1932) — also known as Bob Packwood — of Portland, Multnomah County, Ore.; Lake Oswego, Clackamas County, Ore. Born in Portland, Multnomah County, Ore., September 11, 1932. Republican. Lawyer; chair of Multnomah County Republican Party, 1960-62; member of Oregon state house of representatives, 1963-68; U.S. Senator from Oregon, 1969-95; resigned 1995; delegate to Republican National Convention from Oregon, 1972. Unitarian. Member, American Bar Association; Jaycees; Beta Theta Pi. Resigned from the U.S. Senate in 1995, after the Select Committee on Ethics recommended his expulson for sexual misconduct, attempting to obstruct the committee's investigation, and using his position to solicit employment for his wife. Still living as of 2014.
  Relatives: Son of Frederick William Packwood and Gladys (Taft) Packwood; married, November 25, 1964, to Georgie Ann Oberteuffer; great-grandson of William Henderson Packwood; third cousin thrice removed of Augustus Brandegee; fourth cousin once removed of Otis Larry Packwood.
  Political family: Wolcott-Griswold-Packwood-Brandegee family of Connecticut (subset of the Four Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — NNDB dossier
  Bobby E. Crittendon — of Dayton, Campbell County, Ky. Mayor of Dayton, Ky., 1991-2000; appointed 1991; removed 2000; Impeached and removed from office, by unanimous vote of the city council, over misconduct including his attempts to intimidate the police chief on behalf of his son-in-law. Still living as of 2000.
  Aaron F. Broussard (b. 1949) — of Kenner, Jefferson Parish, La. Born in Marksville, Avoyelles Parish, La., January 6, 1949. Democrat. Mayor of Kenner, La., 1982-96; president of Jefferson Parish, La., 2003-10; pleaded guilty in September 2012 to federal charges that, as president of Jefferson Parish, he received bribes of more than $60,000, and that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars by creating a no-work job in the parish government for his ex-wife; sentenced to 46 months in prison, and ordered to pay restitution. Still living as of 2012.
  See also Wikipedia article — OurCampaigns candidate detail
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