Investigator resigns from staff
The congressman's office has no plans to hire another staff investigator.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr.'s investigator, hired to ferret out supposed wrongdoing by federal authorities who indicted the congressman on corruption charges, has left Traficant's staff.
Frederick V. Hudach of Hubbard was earning $26,250 annually as Traficant's part-time investigator. There are no plans to hire another investigator, said Charles Straub, Traficant's spokesman.
Hudach, who could not be reached Tuesday to comment, gave nonspecific personal reasons for his resignation, Straub said. Hudach's last day on Traficant's staff was May 10. His departure a year after he was hired was disclosed on the congressman's latest payroll certification obtained from the U.S. House's Legislative Resource Center.
Hudach's primary job responsibility was to investigate possible corruption among officials with the FBI and U.S. attorney's office, Straub said. Traficant is sponsoring a House bill calling for the creation of an oversight body for the Justice Department, Straub said.
The federal government indicted Traficant, of Poland, D-17th, on May 4, six days before Hudach's resignation, on 10 felony counts including racketeering, bribery and tax evasion.
Investigations: Besides assisting Traficant in his investigation of the Justice Department, Hudach investigated the Trumbull County judge and prosecutor who handled the murder case of his son and an old homicide case in Austintown that involved no federal authorities.
Hudach's son, Ben, pleaded guilty in September 1996 in a murder-for-hire scheme that left a Hubbard woman dead and her son wounded. Ben Hudach received a sentence of 20 years to life in prison, with the eligibility of parole after 13 1/2 years.
Hudach worked out of Traficant's Canfield office, which the congressman uses for private meetings with constituents.
Other personnel: Hudach is gone, but Traficant has made some hires and promotions during the past few months.
John P. Brown III, who was a part-timer earning $12,000 out of Traficant's Youngstown office, was promoted to a full-time staff representative earning $26,200 annually.
Also, Esther Ventus, Traficant's Washington, D.C., office manager, was promoted to a legislative assistant. Her annual salary increases from $26,150 to about $29,000. Straub didn't receive a promotion in title, but Traficant increased his annual salary from $52,500 to $60,000.
The recent hires include Boris Korczak as a part-time legislative assistant in Traficant's Washington office earning $25,000 annually and Korczak's son, Robert, as the Washington office's manager and assistant to the administrator, a full-time job paying about $20,000 annually. The Korczaks are from Virginia, Straub said. Robert is a former Traficant intern, and his father has previous legislative experience, Straub said.