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Democrat, New York (1977-1990)
The Honorable Robert Garcia and his wife, Jane Lee Garcia, were convicted in 1989 of extorting $170,000 from the Wedtech Corporation so that Garcia would direct lucrative military contracts Wedtech's way. They were originally sentenced to three years in prison.
Garcia served 104 days in prison, but the convictions were overturned on a technicality by the appeals court. A second conviction was overturned in 1991. Mrs. Garcia was sentenced to three months for her conviction involving $76,000 of the total amount.
A jury found that Garcia had taken a $20,000 interest-free loan from Wedtech as well.
Would there be a third trial? In 1993, U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, Mary Jo White, said the feds would abandon efforts to retry the case against the Garcias. Reason: each defendant had been tried twice already, 12 years had elapsed since the first of the alleged crimes had been committed, and seven years of prosecution had exacted a toll on the defendants.
In 1992, the Garcias' lawyer described them as "financially destitute and basically homeless." At the sentencing, the Garcias cried and held hands as they begged for mercy.
Garcia resigned from office in 1990, and the House Ethics Committee took no further action.
Robert Garcia became a member of the House Prison Caucus.
Sources: "Ex-Rep. Garcia Gets 3 Yrs. in Wedtech Case," Chicago Sun-Times, June 17, 1992, 68; "U.S. Will Not Retry Garcia in Extortion," New York Times, Sept. 16, 1993, B3.