Former Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, the once powerful House committee chairman, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of mail fraud and was immediately sentenced to 17 months in prison and fined $100,000.
The former head of the Ways and Means Committee pleaded guilty before Judge Norma Holloway Johnson of U.S. District Court.``You have brought a measure of disgrace' on Congress, Johnson lectured Rostenkowski before pronouncing his sentence. ``You shamelessly abused your position. When I think of your case ... the one word or the one phrase that comes to my mind is betrayal of trust.'
A product of the Chicago Democratic machine, Rostenkowski once ran his panel of tax law writers with an iron hand. Two years ago, he had vowed to ``fight these false charges.'
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