Pennsylvania Rep. Fattah submits resignation after conviction for fraud, bribery

WASHINGTON, June 22 (UPI) — A day after he was convicted on numerous criminal counts of corruption, Pennsylvania Rep. Chaka Fattah on Wednesday submitted his resignation from Congress, but asked that it not take effect until October.

Fattah, a representative of the state’s 2nd District, which includes Philadelphia, was found guilty by a jury Tuesday on all counts — which include bribery, conspiracy, racketeering and falsifying records. At age 59, he could potentially spend the rest of his life in prison.

Scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 4, Fattah on Wednesday submitted his resignation from the U.S. House of Representatives effective Oct. 3, Politico reported.

RELATEDTuesday: Penn. Rep. Fattah convicted of racketeering, fraud, money laundering

“Despite my resignation, I am working to clear my name of these charges and plan to mount an appeal,” Fattah wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan Wednesday.

Fattah, the senior member of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, will soon be out of office one way or the other. In April, he lost the state’s Democratic primary in his bid for a 12th term, meaning he will exit Congress no later than January.

His resignation Wednesday, though, accelerates that time frame by three months — but it’s still not soon enough, for some of his colleagues.

Rep. Ryan, R-Wisc., has said Fattah should resign immediately. If the Philadelphia native doesn’t quit, the House could initiate steps to remove him from office.

Twitter/Paul Ryan

However long he remains, Fattah will be powerless in the country’s lower chamber, having already been stripped of his ability to vote on the House floor or in committee.

Fattah could be sentenced to as many as 20 years in federal prison, legal experts say.

Fattah was first elected to represent Pennsylvania’s 2nd District in 1994, after serving for 12 years in the state legislature.

Last summer, a grand jury indicted him and four political allies on numerous criminal counts stemming from schemes to enrich his personal wealth. Prosecutors argued at his trial that Fattah repeatedly bribed others and stole campaign contributions, charitable donations and federal grant money.

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