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Will Traficant change his spots?
December 9, 2008 - Jim Smith
It doesn't seem possible, but nevertheless it is.
Disgraced and convicted former congressman James Traficant, of Youngstown, Ohio, where he had been a controversial figure for years, will be released from prison March 9.
The former sheriff and outspoken critic of nearly everything, will finish out the remainding months of his eight-year federal sentence in the Community Corrections Association, nonprofit halfway house in Youngstown.
Traficant, a Democrat who represented Youngstown in Congress for 17 years, was convicted of receiving gifts and free labor from businessmen for his political help and for taking cash kickbacks and free labor from his staff.
Traficant will have to find a full-time job as part of the halfway house confinement, but he will be allowed to go home for limited weekend visits.
When I worked in Steubenville and East Liverpool, Ohio, I knew Traficant and always found him controversial, interesting and VERY shady. He was one of those guys who if you needed a quote on darn near anything, all you had to do was call Traficant and he would ramble on forever ... many times saying things that were outright outrageous.
It will be interesting to see if he has changed his spots after serving his sentence.
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