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Prosecutors want to garnish Traficant’s state pension to pay fine

CLEVELAND, March 19, 2008 (AP): Prosecutors want to tap into former congressman Jim Traficant’s pension to help pay about $93,000 he still owes in fines from his bribery conviction.

Richard J. French, an assistant U.S. attorney, filed an application last month in federal court to obtain money from the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System. Traficant has a state pension from his service as Mahoning County sheriff before he was elected to U.S. Congress.

An attorney from Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann’s office filed a response to French’s application, contending the funds are exempt from garnishment.

Traficant has paid about $57,000 of his $150,000 fine out of his federal pension, French said Wednesday.

Traficant, 66, who served nine terms in the House representing the Youngstown area, was convicted in 2002 of charges he received gifts and free labor from businessmen for his political help, and took cash kickbacks and free labor from staff.

He is serving an eight-year prison term at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn. According to www.bop.gov, his release date is Sept. 2, 2009. But Traficant, Federal ID# 31213-060, is eligible for placement into a half-way house as early as March 2, 2009.  

Information from: The (Youngstown) Vindicator, http://www.vindy.com






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