MAY 03, 2006
While a veteran congressman strongly denies accepting bribes, those with damaging evidence continue to cut deals with authorities to reveal details of the wrongdoing. This week a technology executive will be the second person to plead guilty to bribing Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), an eight-term congressman and senior on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Vernon Jackson, chief executive of Louisville-based IGate Inc., has already signed a 13-page statement saying the congressman helped get his company listed with the General Services Administration so it could get lucrative government contracts. The statement also says Jefferson later demanded payments to a company that included his wife and children in return for his help gaining huge internet and cable television contracts in Africa.
Earlier this year, one of Jefferson’s former congressional aides, Brett Pfeffer, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and aiding and abetting the solicitation of bribes. Pfeffer has testified that his former boss demanded big bucks in exchange for his assistance in brokering two African telecommunications deals.
Jefferson has so far paid $36,000 in legal fees from his defense fund and if witnesses keep popping up with damaging evidence against him, the fees are sure to rise as fast as the hurricane waters did in his state.
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