Corrupt ex-congressman sentenced to eight years in prison

Published: March 3, 2006

"Former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham has been sentenced to 8 years, 4 months in prison for taking $2.4 million in bribes in return for unduly influencing the awarding of Defense Department contracts.

Cunningham was ordered by Judge Larry Burns to pay almost $2 million restitution in back taxes.

Cunningham will be sent to prison next Friday. Before the sentencing Cunningham told Burns, according to news reports, "No man has ever been more sorry. I accept responsibility."

According to a San Diego TV station, Cunningham also said that he hopes to see his 91-year-old mother one last time before he goes to jail.

"Cunningham pleaded guilty last Nov. 28 to conspiracy and evading more than $1 million in taxes."

"Prosecutors had recommended a 10-year prison sentence for the former Republican congressman from Rancho Santa Fe, saying he "bullied" Pentagon officials to award contracts to defense contractors who bribed him."