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Archive for Monday, December 11, 2006

Congressman keeps seat despite bribery probe

December 11, 2006

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— U.S. Rep. William Jefferson easily defeated his fellow Democratic opponent in a runoff election Saturday, despite an ongoing federal bribery investigation.

In complete but unofficial returns in New Orleans, Jefferson received 57 percent of the vote over state Rep. Karen Carter, who had 43 percent.

Carter was unable to capitalize on a scandal that included allegations the FBI found $90,000 in bribe money in Jefferson's freezer.

Jefferson's presence in Washington could be embarrassing for Democrats, who won control of Congress on a platform of cleaning up corruption. In June, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., led a successful effort to remove Jefferson from the House Ways and Means Committee as the probe unfolded.

He was accused of taking bribes from a company seeking lucrative contracts in the Nigerian telecommunications market. He has not been charged with any crime.

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