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March 31, 2006

Sweet Justice

When Delay/Abramoff crony Mark Scanlon dumped his fiance, Emily Miller, for a younger woman, he set off a domino motion that enabled federal prosecutors to begin to take down the entire mafia-like group.  The Wall Street Journal has the full story up today as reported by Brody Mullins.

The short story: Scanlon, the first of the bunch to be indicted, along with Tony Rudy, who pled guilty to conspiracy last Friday, were at the center of the K Street Project corruption racket that DeLay and Abramoff began running in the late 90's.  In 1998, Scanlon was DeLay's press secretary and Rudy his deputy chief of staff. Both have been described as pit-bulls; both pushed hard for DeLay to lead the impeachment charges against President Clinton. The also had many interactions with Jack Abramoff, both accepting free trips to casinos and golf courses and, in return, helping influence legislation on behalf of Abramoff's business clients.

For his efforts, Scanlon was promoted to communications director and Emily Miller was brought in as press secretary.  Scanlon was married at the time but the two became friends.  In late 1999, after Scanlon's marriage fell apart and he moved over to work for Abramoff at Preston Gates Ellis and then followed him to Greenberg Traurig, Scanlon began dating Ms. Miller. He was also knee deep in taking tribal money to get legislation favorable to those tribes.

Mark Scanlon and Emily Miller became engaged in September 2001 and were planning to be married in August 2002.  They were both 35 years old. Here's a description of Scanlon's lifestyle at the time:

Mr. Scanlon reveled in his newfound wealth. In September 2001, he bought two houses in Washington for a total of $1.2 million, according to court papers. In November 2001, he bought a $1.6 million beach house in Rehoboth Beach and completely renovated it. A few months later, in March, he paid $4.7 million in cash for a place for him and Ms. Miller to live. The beachfront mansion had a weight room, sauna and a three-bedroom guest house. Mr. Scanlon mounted lights on the deck so he could hold parties on the beach at night, according to his surfing friends. He also bought vacation homes on the Caribbean island of St. Barts, including one villa he rented out for $50,000 a week.

That spring Scanlon broke off the engagement and started dating a 24-year old waitress, whom he later married.  Ms. Miller, who had quit work to plan her wedding was not happy.  She also began (only then?) to question where all that money of Scanlon's was coming from.  She was apparently receptive when federal prosecutors approached her in 2003 with the request to share what she knew about Scanlon's dealings with both DeLay and Abramoff.

The results?  Last November, Mr. Scanlon pled guilty to bribery charges. He is likely to be in jail for five years and has paid back nearly $20 million to the tribes. Mr. Scanlon then implicated Mr. Abramoff who pled guilty to corruption and bribery charges six weeks later.  Abramoff agreed to pay the tribes back $26 million. Abramoff may spend as long as a decade in jail on these charges on top of the jail term he got this last week on other charges.  Mr. DeLay was forced to step down from his leadership post in the House and now faces not only a tough re-election campaign but will likely be indicted on corruption and bribery charges himself. 

Sweet justice indeed.
   

Posted by Lynn Allen on March 31, 2006 at 01:17 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink

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Comments

WSJ repeats blog reporting, forgets to mention. The Raw Story covered this story Jan 3. Even if they recovered the steps themselves from scratch, they were late to the story.
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2005/How_Jack_Abramoff_and_Michael_Scanlon_0103.html

Posted by: Mark Centz | Mar 31, 2006 2:39:58 PM

Mark,

I knew I'd heard it before. Nevertheless, it was a good write-up and gets to a good audience.

Posted by: Lynn | Mar 31, 2006 3:06:54 PM

Hell hath no fury....

Posted by: N in Seattle | Apr 1, 2006 9:05:56 AM

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