Congressional Post Office Scandal


Congressional Post Office Scandal

The Congressional Post Office Scandal is a phrase used to refer to the discovery of corruption among various Congressional Post Office employees and members of the United States House of Representatives, which was investigated from 1991 to 1995, climaxing in the conviction of House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL).

Initially an investigation by the United States Capitol Police into a single embezzlement charge against a single employee, evidence rapidly led to the inclusion of several other employees, before top Democrats in the House of Representatives moved to shut down the whole line of inquiry, despite protests from Frank Karrigan, chief of the Capitol Police.

A new investigation was started by the United States Postal Service, which eventually submitted a report which was held in silence by Speaker Thomas Foley (D-WA) until media reports of embezzlement and drug laundering leaked out in 1992.

Following public outcry, the Democratic leaders of the House were forced to refer the matter to the Committee on House Administration, which started its own investigation.

That committee broke into two parts along party lines, the Democrats issuing a report saying the matter was closed, but the Republicans issuing a dissenting report including a number of unanswered questions and problems with the investigation.

The Republican charges were largely ignored until July 1993, when the Congressional Postmaster Robert Rota pleaded guilty to three criminal charges, implicating Representatives Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) and Joe Kolter (D-PA). They were accused of heading a conspiracy to launder Post Office money through stamps and postal vouchers.

Ultimately, Rostenkowski was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison, in 1995.

President Clinton later pardoned Rostenkowski as he left office in 2001.

ee also

* House banking scandal

References

* [http://www.usnews.com/usnews/opinion/articles/940530/archive_012941.htm] US News and World Report, "Rostenkowski's Last Stand" May,22, 1994
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE7DC1E3DF931A15754C0A964958260] NY Times, "House Plans 2 Reports On Post Office Scandal" July 22, 1992
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F05E1D6163EF933A1575BC0A961958260&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fPeople%2fR%2fRostenkowski%2c%20Dan] NY Times, "Rostenkowski Is Released From Wisconsin Prison" Published: August 20, 1997
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F06E7D91639F930A15754C0A960958260&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fPeople%2fR%2fRostenkowski%2c%20Dan] NY Tims, "Rostenkowski Enters Prison (and Hospital)"July 23, 1996
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9B05E5DB113DF935A25750C0A962958260] NY Times, "REP. ROSTENKOWSKI WINS TOUGH BATTLE IN CHICAGO PRIMARY" March 16, 1994
* [http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/01/26/cq/koszczuk.html] CNN "Rostenkowski Hopes To Set Forth On the Road to Redemption" Jan. 24, 1998


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