Lawbreaker, Lawmaker

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LOS ANGELES: What does it take to kick a congressman out of office? Apparently more than a corruption conviction. After Rep. Jay Kim and his wife yesterday pleaded guilty to accepting and hiding $230,000 inillegal campaign contributions from corporations and foreign citizens, the California congressman's attorney said Kim plans to remain in office -- and even run for re-election next year.

Kim is free on bond until an October sentencing that could send him to prison for up to three years, though six months is more likely. But can he serve his constituents while serving time? Yes, he can. There is no rule that removes members of Congress for misdemeanor convictions. The House Ethics Commitee, which would review the case if a complaint were filed, won't be taking new cases until mid-September. Looks like Kim could set a whole new precedent for lawbreaking lawmakers.