Judge Minces No Words Sentencing Rostenkowski

By Dettmer, Jamie | Insight on the News, May 27, 1996 | Go to article overview

Judge Minces No Words Sentencing Rostenkowski


Dettmer, Jamie, Insight on the News


After defrauding the government of $636,600, the once-powerful congressman has his day in court.

The federal investigation of former Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, an Illinois Democrat, grew out of the House post-office scandal. It was in March of 1992 that Paul Rodriguez of the Washington Times, now managing editor of Insight, first reported the use of post-office boxes as collection points for campaign donations to congressmen, including Rostenkowski. The story evolved into one of the biggest political scandals in the history of the House of Representatives.

As an 18-term congressman and the longtime chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, Rostenkowski was a giant on Capitol Hill. But even his wide-ranging influence failed to protect him from a kickback and payroll-scam inquiry during an election year. Last month, after a four-year investigation, Rostenkowski accepted a plea bargain and admitted the heart of the prosecutors' case against him -- that he had defrauded Congress of $636,600. In return, he pleaded guilty to two of the dozen counts with which he was charged.

"I would like to emphasize that I have plead guilty to the least-serious charges set forth in the indictment," he told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Washington. "Having plead guilty, I do not believe that I am any different than the vast majority of the members of Congress," Rostenkowski said of charges that he misused congressional funds to pay employees for personal and political services unrelated to official duties.

Before his unrepentant remarks to journalists, Rostenkowski had appeared before U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson to confirm his formal pleadings. "Guilty, your honor," he said to the first charge -- that he illegally used the mail to send fraudulent payroll checks from Washington to his district office in Chicago. "Guilty," he said to the second charge -- that he used the mail to send a congressional payment to Lenox China of Pomona, NJ., for sets of dinnerware he gave to family members and political supporters.

Johnson imposed the recommended sentence -- 17 months in prison and a $100,000 fine -- negotiated between Dan K. Webb, Rostenkowski's attorney, and U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder Jr. But before doing so, the judge offered the Chicago politician an opportunity to express remorse or even regret. Here, from the trial transcript, is what happened next.

The Court: Mr. Rostenkowski, I'll be very happy to hear from you, sir.

Rostenkowski: Well, I'm.... Your honor, my counsel has adequately stated my position. I ... I really don't have anything else to say, your honor.

The Court: Very well, Mr. Rostenkowski. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Judge Minces No Words Sentencing Rostenkowski
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.