Not all politicians convicted of crimes leave politics for good. This week, ex-Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci decided to run for mayor again, despite a corruption conviction and 4 1/2 years spent in prison. A look at high-profile politicians who wouldn’t let a conviction stand in the way of a bid for public office:
Cianci was forced to resign as mayor in 1984 after he was convicted of assault. Six years later, he won his job back, but Cianci’s second mayoral reign, known around town as Buddy II, ended in 2002 when he was convicted of racketeering conspiracy and sent to prison as part of an investigation into corruption in City Hall. Cianci announced Wednesday he is trying for Buddy III, running as an independent for what would be a seventh term as mayor.
The former Louisiana governor served eight years in prison for a felony racketeering conviction arising from the licensing of riverboat casinos in his fourth term. Edwards announced in March he is running to represent Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District, ending months of speculation about his political future.
JAMES TRAFICANT and TED STEVENS
Both members of Congress tried but failed to make political comebacks after felony convictions. Traficant was expelled from Congress in 2002 and served seven years in prison for accepting bribes and taking kickbacks. An Ohio Democrat, he tried to resurrect his political career and ran for re-election from prison, and again in 2010 after his release, but lost. The four-decade career of Alaska Sen. Stevens ended in 2008, when he lost his bid for re-election days after his conviction in a corruption case. The conviction was later dismissed.
The mayor of the nation’s capital was famously caught on videotape smoking crack cocaine in 1990 in an FBI sting. After six months in prison, Barry was freed and won a seat on the City Council. He was re-elected to a fourth term as mayor in 1994 and now serves again on the council.
As a federal judge, Hastings was acquitted in a jury trial on bribery charges but impeached by the U.S. Senate in 1989 on related allegations. In 1992, Hastings was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent a Florida district. He is serving his 11th term.
JAMES MICHAEL CURLEY
The colorful mayor of Boston was facing a federal indictment when he was re-elected in 1945 by a wide margin. He was convicted of mail fraud and spent five months of his fourth mayoral term in a Connecticut prison in 1947 before his sentence was commuted. Like Cianci, Curley served time in prison earlier in his career too. He was convicted of fraud for taking a civil service exam for another man.
SOURCE: JENNIFER MCDERMOTT