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Richard Alvin Tonry
Democrat, Louisiana (1977-1978)
The Honorable Richard Tonry got involved in Louisiana vote-buying. He resigned his seat to fight charges that he fraudulently won a close Democratic primary election.
A federal grand jury originally indicted him on 10 charges of election violations, including two felonies. But with a guilty plea, most of the charges were dropped. Tonry plead guilty to four misdemeanors charging him with receiving illegal campaign contributions, conspiring to receive illegal contributions, and promising favors in return for contributions.
He was sentenced to one year in prison and fined $10,000. He also was placed on three years inactive probation during which time he cannot run for office of participate in politics. Tonry is a member of the Congressional Prison Caucus.
Tonry was a former Jesuit seminarian and a freshman state representative when he ran for Congress and won his seat.
When the charges first surfaced, Tonry said: "These charges were nothing more than an attempt to smear me. If they can't unseat me, they are going to try to smear me so I can't be re-elected." (Click here for other examples of "Lyin' Through Their Teeth").
Sources: "Tonry Vote Fraud Confirmed in Court; House Still Probing," Washington Post, April 22, 1997; "Tonry Sentenced to Prison, Fined in Election Fraud," Washington Post, July 29, 1977.