Fred's Follies

A N.Y. Congressman resigns

Shortly before 9 a.m. one day last week, an expensively dressed gentleman slipped into Brooklyn federal court through a back door. Hands clasped behind him, he stood before Judge Charles Sifton and softly recited his crimes. Then, after pleading guilty, Democratic Congressman Frederick Richmond of Brooklyn agreed to resign immediately from the House of Representatives and not seek reelection to a fifth term.

It was a seemingly inevitable end for a politician whose life had gone badly awry. Richmond's woes had been attracting tabloid headlines for years. In 1978...

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