Expelled Congressman charged in Philadelphia election fraud case

Nearly forty years since he was expelled from the U.S. House after getting caught on videotape taking bribes in the FBI ABSCAM investigation, ex-Rep. Michael “Ozzie” Myers (D-PA) was unexpectedly back in the headlines on Thursday, charged by the Justice Department with election fraud in a case from Philadelphia.

“The Department of Justice has zero tolerance for corruption of the electoral process,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt, in announcing charges of ballot stuffing, bribery, and obstruction against Myers.

The former Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania was charged with bribing a Philadelphia elections judge, in order to impact a judicial election.

“During the 2015 primary election, MYERS paid DeMuro to fraudulently add votes on behalf of Judicial Candidates #1, #2, and #3, among others,” the indictment states.

DeMuro is Domenick J. DeMuro, a former elections judge who earlier this year was convicted of accepting bribes and certifying false election results in Philadelphia primary elections.

"Demuro admitted that while serving as an elected municipal Judge of Elections, he accepted bribes in the form of money and other things of value in exchange for adding ballots to increase the vote totals for certain candidates on the voting machines in his jurisdiction and for certifying tallies of all the ballots, including the fraudulent ballots," the Justice Department announced back in May.

There was no indication at the time that Myers - who had long been forgotten on Capitol Hill - was in any way involved the Philadelphia elections investigation.

Myers was one of a series of lawmakers caught up in the ABSCAM investigation of the late 1970's, and it led to the House voting to expel the Pennsylvania Democrat on October 2, 1980.

Myers was the first member of the House expelled since the Civil War.

"I know what it feels like now to sit on death row," Myers said in debate on his expulsion. "In a way I am awaiting execution."

After being forced out of Congress, Myers stayed involved in local politics, selling himself as a political consultant.

But now, he could be headed back to jail.

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