Published August 23, 2009
There is talk, confirmed by at least one person close to James A. Traficant Jr., that the former congressman-turned-federal inmate wants to take the bus home when he is released from federal prison on Sept. 2. Traficant reportedly has told members of his family that he doesn’t want them to pick him up when he walks out of lock-up after seven-plus years.
Traficant has been in the federal penitentiary — a medical facility — in Rochester, Minn., and it is quite possible that officials of the Federal Bureau of Prisons will send him to a facility closer to the Mahoning Valley a week before his release date. The reason: To avoid a media circus at the gates of the Rochester facility.
Of course, this is all speculation because the bureau of prisons will not provide any details about the Mahoning Valley’s infamous citizen.
The Traficant of old would have made it a point to get as much local, state and national press coverage of his release and would have issued a warning to federal officials that he won’t rest until he clears his name. He was found guilty of 10 federal criminal charges, including racketeering, bribery and tax evasion., But, he could be a changed man after so much time away from the people who see him as a folk hero.