Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA) speaks to reporters after arriving at Reagan National Airport in Washington, May 22, 2006. A Kentucky businessman was sentenced on Friday to seven years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to paying bribes to Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat who is the target of a federal corruption probe.
In July 2005, Vernon L. Jackson returned home to Louisville from Washington, where he had just met with Representative William J. Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat who had been helping promote his fledgling digital-technology company. David Harper, a lawyer for the company, said he had never seen Mr. Jackson so demoralized.
For nearly five years, the inventor and the congressman had carried the message that Mr. Jacksonâ€™s company, iGate, could help close the â€œdigital divideâ€ by delivering high-speed Internet access to poor blacks around the world.
They had flown to Africa to seek business opportunities, and they had talked up iGate to potential partners at the Kentucky Derby and the United States Open tennis tournament in New York.
But now, with iGate starved for cash, Mr. Jackson was convinced that Mr. Jefferson, his â€œfriend on the Hill,â€ was about to betray him, Mr. Harper recalled.
Over breakfast at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, the congressman had made a proposal that, in Mr. Jacksonâ€™s view, was tantamount to theft: in return for a quick infusion of cash, Mr. Harper said, Mr. Jefferson and his investors would take control of iGate and its promising broadband patents while easing Mr. Jackson aside and cutting off most of the companyâ€™s creditors.
Unbeknownst to the two men, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been monitoring their dealings. Less than three weeks later, agents raided Mr. Jeffersonâ€™s homes, in Washington and in New Orleans, and found stacks of cash stuffed in a freezer.
And why is William Jefferson still in the House of Representatives? Tall but scrawny Jefferson will be snuggling with Bubba soon enough but why the Democrats in the House and Speaker Hastert allow this miscreant to continue is beyond belief.
The GOP majority should immediately push for Jefferson’s expulsion. Jefferson won’t resign so his ASS should be kicked out.
Kentucky businessman, Vernon L. Jackson, chief executive of Louisville-based iGate, leaves U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., in this May 3, 2006, file photo. Jackson, 54, who admitted paying more than $400,000 in bribes to Rep. William J. Jefferson, D-La., was sentenced, Friday, Sept. 8, 2006, to more than seven years in prison.
Mr. Jackson, 54, has pleaded guilty to paying more than $400,000 in bribes for Mr. Jeffersonâ€™s help; on Sept. 8, he was sentenced to seven years in prison. An F.B.I. search of the congressmanâ€™s office last May set off a showdown between Congress and the Justice Department. Mr. Jefferson has denied any wrongdoing and remains under investigation.
In recent months, the outlines of the case have emerged in court filings and news reports. But an examination of court records and dozens of internal iGate documents, as well as interviews with a number of Mr. Jacksonâ€™s associates, offers a far clearer picture of the relationship between the two men, and of how Mr. Jefferson went from helping a small company to trying to take it over for his familyâ€™s benefit.
William Jefferson is a CROOK.
Send him to the same federal prison as Vernon Jackson and we will see how long he lasts.
Captain Ed has Jefferson’s Corruption Goes Beyond Bribery
This goes beyond corruption. This is a gross abuse of power, and it sheds some light on why the FBI was so adamant about raiding Jefferson’s office. Read all of Drew’s report.
Indeed.Â But, it does not explain why Speaker Dennis Hastert ran to his defense.
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