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Mary Rose Oakar

Democrat, Ohio (1977-1992)

The Honorable Mary Rose Oakar was fined $32,000 and sentenced to two years' probation and community service for breaking federal election law when she disguised the source of $16,000 in campaign contributions.  (When she was indicted, Oakar could have faced 40 years in prison and a $1.75 million fine).

Her first response:  "There's no substance to these false charges.  This is selective prosecution, in my judgment.  They, of course, wanted me to plea bargain and admit to things I didn't do.  I can't do that."  (Click here for other examples of "Lyin' Through Their Teeth").  "I expect to be fully vindicated."

In a plea agreement, she admitted to two misdemeanor counts:  conspiracy and violating the election law by using the names of straw donors on federal documents to conceal illegal contributions.  

Oakar was indicted in February 1995 on 7 felony counts in the House Banking scandal.  She was accused of converting public money--her overdrawn House bank account--to her own use, hiding the sources of campaign contributions, failing to disclose $88,000 in loans and lying to the FBI.  

Get this!!!!  Two of the felony counts and part of a third were thrown out by the Supreme Court when it ruled that House members cannot be prosecuted for lying to Congress.  The rest of the felony charges were dropped in September 1997 when the Justice Department agreed to accept her guilty plea to the election law misdemeanors.  

Oakar was the first Honorable Member of Congress to be indicted directly in connection with the bank scandal.

Mary Rose Oakar is a member of the Congressional Probation Caucus

Check out her Ethics Committee problems.

Sources:  Keith C. epstein and Tom Diemer, "Grand Jury Indicts Oakar on 7 Felonies," Clevaland Plain Dealer, Feb. 23, 1995, A1;  Tom Diemer, "Oakar Gets Probation, Fine for Violations," Clevelan Plain Dealer, Jan. 22, 1998, A1.