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Traficant can pick CCA or prison



Published: Sat, January 3, 2009 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Patricia Meade

The convicted former congressman said he would not feel safe at CCA on Market Street.

YOUNGSTOWN — The federal Bureau of Prisons, not inmate James A. Traficant Jr., decides where he goes to transition back into society.

The former congressman, through his caseworker at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., requested placement at a halfway facility in Akron or Cleveland instead of Community Corrections Association on Market Street, said Richard J. Billak, CCA chief executive officer. Traficant said he would not feel safe at CCA because Billak testified at Traficant’s racketeering trial in 2002.

In March 2002, Billak testified that Traficant interceded to get contractor Anthony Bucci, who had been at a federal prison in North Carolina in the early 1990s, transferred to CCA. He also testified about another inmate sent to CCA with Traficant’s help, David Sugar Jr.

Sugar’s father, A. David Sugar Sr., admitted that he committed perjury, obstruction of justice and witness tampering in the Traficant case, according to Vindicator files.

Traficant accepted free goods, services and labor at his horse farm from Bucci, Sugar Sr. and others and paid them with congressional favors, not cash.

Arrangements were made last month to have Traficant, 67, report to CCA on March 9 to complete his eight-year federal prison sentence, which expires Sept. 2 Then he’ll serve three years’ supervised release.

The Bureau of Prisons typically sends inmates to halfway facility up to six months before their scheduled prison release date to allow them to transition back into society and reconnect with family.

The Bureau of Prisons this week denied Traficant’s request to go to another facility, which leaves him with two options — come to CCA in March or stay in prison until September, Billak said. He expects to hear sometime this month what Traficant intends to do.

Billak said he has no role in the program at CCA and would likely have no contact with Traficant. He told prison officials that as long as Traficant does what is required at CCA, there should be no problems.

CCA has a 28-bed area for federal inmates, generally two to three to a room. An adjoining common room (lounge) has two phones and a TV that isn’t turned on until after dinner.

Inmates have house assignments such as cleaning the laundry room and bathroom, vacuuming, and washing dishes. No alcohol is permitted. Before the end of a 14-day medical assessment and orientation period, Traficant must find a full-time job approved by CCA.

If Traficant stays problem free at CCA for three months, he will transfer to home confinement for the final three months. If he violates any conditions imposed on him by CCA or the Bureau of Prisons, he will be returned to federal prison. The conditions include getting and keeping a job, no contraband, no insubordination and clean urine — free of drugs and alcohol.

Traficant will be given a urine test every day that he returns to CCA after work, Billak said.

Traficant, of Poland, can go home for visits, three to six hours at a time on weekends, within his first month. After that, the time extends to six to nine hours on Saturdays and Sundays for the next two months.

He’s not allowed to ride around town. CCA will make several random calls to his home while he’s there to check on him, Billak said. He’s also not allowed to be around other felons.

In April 2002, a jury in Cleveland found the nine-term Democrat guilty of all 10 counts he faced — including racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and tax evasion. The jury, after a 10-week trial, believed that he took kickbacks from high-level staffers, used other staffers as farmhands on federal time, accepted cash gifts and services from businessmen, cheated on his taxes and tried to influence witnesses.

The U.S. House of Representatives, using the trial transcript, found “clear and convincing evidence” that he broke House rules. The vote was 420-1 to expel him July 24, 2002, a week before he was sentenced.


Comments

1clayor(281 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Leave this guy alone, already, murderers are treated better

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2Tugboat(759 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

How is this man supposed to 'transition back into society' without alcohol or no TV until after dinner? That's not a true orientation. And a full-time job in an age of layoffs?

In the era of Pavlik who, according to a recent Vindy editorial, gave the people of the Valley a reason to hold their heads high, why do we keep bringing this man up???

News story idea: If Traficant sees his shadow on March 9th, will the first day of Summer still be June 21st?

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3JacktheBear3(1 comment)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Why should a man of age 67 have to get a full time job? Shouldn't he be retiring....

All politicians are crooks, this guy just got bold about it and was caught. I say give him a break

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4aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Let him walk already. There are tons more people on the streets of Youngstown that are way more dangerous than Traficant could ever be.

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5clayor(281 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Maybe Bush will pardon him, which he should. A lot more have done a lot worse. Hope our ex-mayor has some clout in that department.

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6cavs1981(32 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

OLD MAN GRUMP YOU ALREADY SAID THAT! NOT FUNNY THE FIRST TIME AND NOT FUNNY NOW! PERHAPS HE WILL MOVE TO A-TOWN WHERE ALL THE OTHER IDIOTS LIVE!

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7Smith77(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Its funny that people in the valley says he's just as corrupt as any other politician and that makes everything fine and justifiable. When you bite the hand that feeds you, you have to accept the consequences.

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8igotrugs(7 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Welcome home Jim.You still have a lot of friends here.

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9aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Hey hey hey. I live in Austintown and I am certainly not an idiot.

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10ipaidattention(68 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

all you people who would not embrace jim are absolute morons, for one, jim stood up when the steel mills closed, and refused to kick people out of their houses. FACT. 2, there was no evidence presented at his case that was not later said to have been either threatened, or coerced by the FBI. FACT, and 3, he was removed to cleveland so he would have no jury of his peers. FACT. he stood up for the valley. FACT he was eccentric, but helpful. FACT, and to top all that off, his judge had a conflict of interest and should have removed herself because her husband was on the prosecuting team. FACT. show me one fact that he is guilty, just one, and do some research of your own before you open up your mouths and discredit a man who tried to stick it to the man. You wonder why we are so in debt to china?!?! thank the one person he stood up to, Janet Reno, guilty of treason for taking chinese money, FACT, he should be pardoned, and really clean up our government FACT

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