on January 22, 1987- during a televised press conference-Robert "Budd" Dwyer shot himself in the mouth.
Dwyer ,a Republican , was a member of Pennsylvania's House from the 6th district from 1965 to 1970 and served in the 50th district in the Pennsylvania Senate from 1971 to 1981. After this in 1982 he became the state treasurer until his death.
During the early 1980s, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employees overpaid millions in (FICA) taxes. The state then solicited bids from accounting firms to calculate the amount each employee was owed back.
California-based Computer Associates, owned by Harrisburg native John Torquato, Jr used bribes to get a contract worth $4.6 million.
Governor Dick Thornburgh found out by an anonymous memo.
After an investigation by the United States Attorney, Dwyer was indicted for receiving a kickback of $300,000 in return for using his influence and office to steer the contract toward CTA.also indicted Torquato, his attorney William Smith, Smith's wife and former state Republican Party Chairman Robert Asher. , Torquato and the Smiths made a deal with and testified on behalf of the government against Dwyer and Asher
Dwyer was offered a plea bargain, but he refused it. Dwyer would have had to resign his office and cooperate fully with the government's investigation. Instead, the government hobbled Dwyer's defense by refusing to name some unindicted co-conspirators believed to have been staff members of the Dauphin County Republican Party.[ Dwyer was found guilty of bribe receiving in December 1986. He continued to profess his innocence vehemently The maximum sentence Dwyer faced was 55 years imprisonment and a $300,000 fine. His co-defendant Asher received one year in jail. Asher later returned to politics, and served as a Republican National Committeeman for Pennsylvania.
The 3 envelopes Dwyer hands to his staff contained a suicide note to his wife, an organ donor card and related materials and a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey, who had taken office two days before.
Since Dwyer died in office before being removed upon sentencing, his widow, Joanne, was able to collect full survivor benefits totaling over $1.28 million
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