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April 7 2011 12:00 AM

Marcus Stern: 'He’ll carry that denial into the wild blue yonder'

marcus
Marcus Stern, Congressional corruption uncoverer.
Yesterday, CityBeat received a packet in the mail from none other than disgraced former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, containing his version of events that led to his guilty plea on corruption charges in 2006.

"Perhaps it is time to end my silence and tell the untold story, at least to record it here for my family and friends before I take my last flight into the wild blue yonder," Cunningham, a decorated fighter pilot, wrote.

As soon as we published the document, we sent it to Marcus Stern, the Copley News Service reporter who won the Pulitzer Prize for uncovering Cunningham's quid-pro-quo relationship with defense contractors.

Here's what Stern, who now reports for ProPublica, responded via email:
"After all this time in prison, Cunningham still sees himself as a hero and patriot brought down by the deviousness of inferior people. No surprise, I guess. He’ll carry that denial into the wild blue yonder, no doubt."
Snap!

Stern, a co-author of the book The Wrong Stuff: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught, also provided us with the transcript of Cunningham's plea.
“Between the year 2000 and June of 2005 in our district, you conspired to accept bribes in exchange for performance of official duties. Did you do that?” Judge Burns asked Cunningham.

“Yes, your honor.”

“Did you take both cash payments and payments in kind?” Burns asked.

“Yes, your honor.”

 “Did you follow up by trying to influence the Defense Department?”

“Yes, your honor.”

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