Traficant To Be Formally Sentenced Tuesday

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:29pm EDT

( - U.S. District Judge Lesley Brooks Well will sentence former Ohio Democratic Congressman James Traficant Tuesday in Cleveland on convictions of racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and tax evasion. The U.S. House, on a 420-1 vote, expelled Traficant from Congress last week.

Dan Dunne, an official with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, told the Youngstown Vindicator Monday that the bureau has yet to determine the federal prison to which Traficant will be sent to serve his sentence.

Dunne also said prison inmates are usually placed in a facility near their homes so they can have family visitations. The closest prisons to Traficant's Youngstown, Ohio home are in Elkton, Ohio, McKean and Loretto, Pennsylvania, and Morgantown, West Virginia.

Most federal prisons have their own visiting hours. Most, according to Dunne, allow visitors, usually on weekends and never at night. The prison checks the background of each person on the inmate's visitor list. Usually visitors are limited to family or friends or people who have had a relationship with the inmate.

Meanwhile, "Roll Call," a Capitol Hill newspaper, reported Monday that the White House would be looking at Traficant's case.

The paper reported that the House Ethics Committee agreed to forward the transcript of a key witness in Traficant's trial to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales. The witness, Richard Detore, who testified on behalf of Traficant at the trial, alleges that he was the victim of prosecutorial misconduct.

The White House did not return phone calls either on Friday or Monday seeking further comment.

Ohio's Republican Governor Bob Taft decided Thursday not to hold a special election to replace Traficant. Voters in the state's 17th Congressional District will wait until November instead. Despite his conviction, Traficant plans to try to regain his seat as an Independent in November, but faces both Republican and Democratic opposition.

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