Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Former U.S. Rep. Jefferson Gets 13 Years for Coruption

Former Louisiana congressman William Jefferson was recently sentenced for his infamous $90,000 stored in the freezer corruption scandal. Considering that he was facing up to 150 years in prison, 13 years should be considered a victory.
The son of a grade school dropout and Harvard Law graduate he was a man of many accomplishments and some one I admired. He was first African-American to represent Louisiana in Congress since Reconstruction and a senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. I had the privilege of meeting one of his daughters a few years back while living in New Orleans, Jalila Jefferson-Bullock. She was very encouraging, admirable and fly as hell. She was a Louisiana State rep. at the time and is a Harvard Law grad like her father certainly a model for myself who was a young woman starting out at the time.
It is unfortunate that this story has become tainted. Not that I am surprised, Louisiana politics are known to be corrupt. What is surprising is the fact that he was involved with Nigerians. As a Nigerian-American I have another reason to hang my head in shame this week. The country of my grandfathers continues to throw away money instead spending it on the betterment of its people.

So former Rep. Jefferson gets 13 years instead of 150 years, great, but many have lost a hero. Myself included.

[Image via CNN]
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