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Austin John Murphy
Democrat, Pennsylvania (1977-1994)
The Honorable Austin Murphy received a formal reprimand from the House for ghost voting and misuse of House funds. He diverted government resources from his former Mon Valley, Pennsylvania, law firm, had a "ghost employee" on his House payroll and someone else cast votes for him in the House.
In May 1999, Murphy was indicted by a Fayette County, Pennsylvania, grand jury of engaging in voter fraud. Murphy insisted that he was only trying to help elderly nursing home residents fill out paperwork that accompanied an absentee ballot. Murphy was charged with forgery, conspiracy and tampering with public records. According to the grand jury, Murphy and two others forged absentee ballots for residents of the nursing home and then added Murphy's wife, Eileen, as a write-in candidate for township election judge.
The next month, following closed-door negotiations, all but one of the voter fraud charges were dropped. After the closed-door hearing, Murphy left by a back door to avoid the angry crowd outside.
As punishment, Murphy got 6 months probation and 50 hours of community service.
Austin Murphy became a member of the Congressional Probation Caucus.
Did we forget to mention the Babe on the side?
And apparently Murphy lived a double life. In 1990, an election challenger, William Nicolella, a Washington, Pennsylvania candy maker, accused Murphy of living a double life, with a wife and family in Pennsylvania and a son born out of wedlock in suburban Washington. Toward the end of the campaign, Nicolella presented a secretly taken videotape showing Murphy leaving the home of a suburban Washington woman. Murphy acknowledged fathering a child out of wedlock, but steadfastly rejected accusations of a double life.
Sources: Marylynne Pitz, "Murphy Arraigned on Vote-Fraud Charges," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 25, 1999, B1; Dennis B. Roddy and David Templeton, "Austin Murphy Won't Run Again; Democrat Beset by Controversies Leaving Congress," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jan. 19, 1994, B1; Bill Heltzel, "Most Charges Against Austin Murphy Dismissed," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 22, 1999, B1.