The Buzz: Sentence for ex-Rep. ‘Duke’ Cunningham ends early

July 9, 2014 

CONGRESSMAN BRIBERY

Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who used his position to take millions of dollars in bribes from government contractors, has won an end to his supervised release from prison.

LENNY IGNELZI — The Associated Press

  • Salary watch

    The Bee has updated its state worker salary database with 2013 payroll data from the University of California. UC employees accounted for all of last year’s top 10 state salaries, most of which were athletic coaches at the Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses. Steve Alford, UCLA’s head basketball coach, topped the list with $2.64 million. Former Cal football coach Jeff Tedford was second at $2.44 million. Tedford received a buyout last year after his firing at the end of the 2012 season.

    – Alexei Koseff

Convicted congressman wins early end to sentence

Former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, the Vietnam War hero turned congressional crook, is now a free man.

Last week, a federal judge granted the ex-Del Mar Republican’s request to cut short a three-year term of supervised release. Cunningham pleaded guilty in 2005 to conspiracy, wire fraud and tax evasion, and admitting to taking more than $2 million in bribes. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.

In an interview with U-T San Diego’s Greg Moran, Cunningham said he’s authored five books on topics ranging from prison reform to how to become a standout fighter pilot. He lives in the gated community of Hot Springs Village, Ark., and court papers describe him as active in his church and a volunteer firefighter, the newspaper reported. But Cunningham said he mourns the breakup of his marriage as a result of the scandal.

“I would tell my constituents and my friends that I’m sorry for the actions I took,” he said. “There is not a day goes by that I don’t ask myself, how the hell did I do what I did? You get caught up in something. I let it happen, and it was wrong.”

– Chrisotopher Cadelago

Worth repeating

“Right now we need the resources to handle what’s going on.”

ASSEMBLYWOMAN MELISSA MELENDEZ, Lake Elsinore Republican, pleading for state funds to help Murrieta deal with protests over undocumented immigrants passing through en route to a shelter.

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