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No homecoming for Traficant?

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published December 13, 2008

Sybile Oelschlager of Schuyler, N.Y., an unabashed supporter of James A. Traficant Jr.'s, claimed Saturday that the former congressman-turned-federal prisoner will not be coming home in March, as was widely reported this week. Oelschlager, who shares Traficant's passion as an artist, made the claim on "The Valley's Talkin,'" an hour-long radio talk show hosted by Dr. William Binning and this writer on 1330 TALK-WGFT.

She called from her home in New York to say she had spoken to Traficant Saturday morning and that he told her he would not be checking into the Community Corrections Association's half-way house on Market Street in Youngstown in three months.

Dr. Richard Billak, head of CCA, had said early in the week that he had been contacted by federal officials, who inquired about Traficant's being housed at the facility. By March, the former congressman, convicted of 10 federal criminal charges, will have completed six years and seven months in federal prison. He was sentenced to eight years.

Oelschlager was asked why Traficant had decided not to come home. She was not able to give a clear answer, but said he wanted to complete his time behind bars. He is scheduled to be released in September and will then be placed on probation.

Veteran criminal Atty. David Betras, who studied at the feet of the late Don L. Hanni Jr., one the this area's leading criminal defense lawyers, said he was not aware of Traficant's supposed decision, but added, "If he does not want to participate in early release, prison officials cannot force him to do so." But Betras noted that only a "crazy man like Traficant" would reject an offer the leave prison early.

One reason Traficant may not want to get out of the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., is because he appears to be channeling Elvis Presley. According to  Oelschlager, Traficant is now playing the guitar (in addition to painting) and has learned six Elvis songs. (Jailhouse Rock, anyone?)



1Eliot_Ness(12 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Too late ... Patty Meade's FALSE story that "Jimbo's Coming Home" has already been picked up nationwide by various news agencies, including the UPI!

Here's what the Vindy FALSELY reported: "On March 9, ex-congressman James A. Traficant Jr., called Jimbo by friends and foes alike, will report to Community Corrections Association, a halfway facility on Market Street."

The Vindicator now will now have egg on its face as its story is retracted nationwide.

Inquiring minds want to know: Did Mr. Billik tell Ms. Meade that Traficant was coming to CCA?

Or did Ms. Meade leap to the FALSE conclusion that she made into a nationwide story, merely because Billik said he had been contacted about the possibility of housing Traficant?

Either way, the Vindicator's editors deserve a public spanking for failing to properly source this news major story!

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2Eliot_Ness(12 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Atty David Betras says that only a "crazy man like Traficant" would reject an offer to leave prison early.

WRONG. Atty Betras is "crazy" to think that Traficant would casually accept the DOJ's invitation to be early-release supervised in Youngstown by Richard Billik, a man who Traficant considers to have made material misrepresentations at his 2002 trial.

Here's a link to Billik's March 4/5, 2002 trial testimony: http://ethics.house.gov/Investigation...

Were Traficant under Billik's supervision, any falsified daily drug/alcohol test result would become a national news story, and would send Traficant back to prison.

Considering Billik's trial testimony, Traficant would have to be "crazy" to give Billik that kind of power over his life.

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3Eliot_Ness(12 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Make that "Billak" instead of "Billik", of course ... I'm typing on someone else's lousy laptop!

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4Tugboat(759 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Breaking News: The second we stop flocking to the theater to see Tom Cruise, there's no Tom Cruise. Likewise, the second we stop talking about Traficant, he goes away. How do we expect the characterization of this area to ever change if we keep bringing up(and nominating) the political titans who have stumbled.

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5ipaidattention(68 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

we don't need traficant to go away, we need him in office again. show me one scrap of evidence where he is guilty, i will show u three scraps showing the conspiracy to implicate him. I personally know people who's lives were threatened to testify against him. he got no fair trial, thats for sure, look at the facts, the judges husband was on the prosecuting team, she should have removed herself for conflict of interest. he was not allowed to present his case. in anyone who is smarts eyes, yes, he was eccentric, but he did a lot of good for this area, and he spoke the truth, and that will ruin you in politics. Lets get antonini and the cafaro crooks run out of town before we go on trying to re-incriminate an innocent man who stood up to those crooks

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