Grand jury indicts ex-Cabinet Member

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WASHINGTON: The exhaustive investigation into former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy has been an embarrassment for Janet Reno in both its aggressive methods and its distinct lack of results. But after almost three years and untold millions of dollars, independent counsel Donald Smaltz has finally netted the big one: an indictment of Espy himself for 39 counts of illegally soliciting and accepting gifts, trips, sports tickets, and other favors totaling $35,000 from companies over which he, as USDA head, had regulatory power.

And then there's the cover-up. After traveling to Dallas to take in a Cowboys playoff game with his girlfriend (courtesy of poultry giant Tyson Foods), Espy allegedly ordered a USDA employee to delete references to Tyson Foods, his girlfriend, and the game when his travel itinerary for that day was requested by the USDA's inspector general. Espy could get ten years for that tap-dance alone. At a press conference today, the tenacious Smaltz said he's not done yet. He may want to quit while he's ahead.