Thursday, February 23, 2006

Culture of Corruption: Contractor to Plead Guilty in Bribe Scheme

WASHINGTON Feb 23, 2006 (AP)— A defense contractor has agreed to plead guilty for his role in lavishing more than $1 million in gifts on a California congressman, two federal law enforcement officials said Thursday.

Mitchell Wade was expected to enter his guilty plea Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the charges against Wade and the plea agreement had not been made public.

Messages left for Wade's defense attorney, Reginald Brown, were not returned Thursday.

Wade is one of four co-conspirators in the plea agreement and court filings for former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who quit Congress last year after admitting he took $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and others in exchange for defense contracts and other favors. The co-conspirators are not named in court papers, but have been identified elsewhere.

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