Cunningham submits formal resignation

first_img Sloan released a letter to House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier, R-Calif., asking him to introduce legislation revoking the pensions of convicted felons. Dreier’s office had no immediate comment and Cunningham’s attorney declined comment. According to Cunningham’s resignation letter, dated Thursday, his resignation took effect at the end of business that day. His congressional office is now under the control of the Clerk of the House, and Schwarzenegger has 14 days – until Dec. 15 – to set a date for a special election. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Under Office of Personnel Management rules, Cunningham can hold on to his congressional pension despite the guilty plea. He also will be able to draw retirement pay from his 21 years in the Navy. Cunningham’s congressional pension would be around $40,000 per year, according to an Office of Personnel Management formula. Only a conviction for a crime against the United States would cause him to lose it, the office said. Cunningham’s military retirement pay is unaffected by a civilian criminal conviction, according to a Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke. Cunningham would be eligible for 52 percent of his last salary after his retirement from the Navy. However, Cunningham likely would lose his Social Security benefits under government rules that withhold the benefits from convicted criminals who’ve spent more than 30 days behind bars. Cunningham is eligible for up to 10 years at sentencing Feb. 27. “A member of Congress who betrays the public trust by breaking the very laws he swears to uphold should not be permitted to keep the hard-earned money of American taxpayers,” Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement Friday. “Congressional felons do not belong on the public dole.” WASHINGTON – Former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham submitted his formal resignation letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, asking the governor to “accept my resignation as one of the many steps I now take to atone for my crimes.” “I am resigning from the House of Representatives because I have discredited my high office and the party I love,” Cunningham, R-Calif., wrote in the letter released Friday by Schwarzenegger’s office. “Not only have I compromised the trust of my constituents, I have misled my family, friends, colleagues, staff and even myself. I am deeply sorry that I have shamed the Congress in this way.” Also Friday, a congressional watchdog group said Cunningham should have to forfeit his pension. Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday to taking $2.4 million in bribes, mostly from defense contractors, in exchange for steering government business their way. The bribes came in the form of cash, antiques, access to a yacht, a Rolls-Royce, help with mortgages and other gifts. last_img read more