- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 7, 2007

The reputation of the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana as capitals of corruption surely have been enhanced with the indictment of Rep. William J. Jefferson on a host of serious and unseemly charges of thievery and fraud (“Jefferson charged in bribery and corruption,” Page 1, yesterday).

It will be interesting to learn Mr. Jefferson’s explanation for the presence of $90,000 in cash found in his freezer two years ago, a place most people would consider an odd receptacle for such a mammoth kitty. I also look forward to learning why, if Mr. Jefferson is the angel he has been portrayed as by his attorney, two persons involved in the case have exchanged their cooperation for plea bargains and accepted prison terms.

It is regrettable that someone who has been indicted under these circumstances may continue to enjoy the trappings of office and engage in the hoax that he is serving the public. What relevancy can such a person have, and what can he hope to accomplish when thick, ominous storm clouds of suspicion hang over his every move?

If Mr. Jefferson has committed the acts of which he is accused, he must pay dearly. Acts like those spawn citizen apathy, scorn and disgust for government, all of which poison our nation.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.