Gary Stein for Congress Fl., 20th District
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The Senate, following a trial by a twelve-member committee, chose to convict Hastings on eight of the articles, but opted not to restrict him from seeking federal elected office in the future (which it had the authority to do). In 1992, a federal judge remanded Hastings' conviction back to the Senate, arguing that Hastings should have received a trial by the full Senate. The Supreme Court, however, had ruled in a similar case that the courts have no jurisdiction over impeachment proceedings, and Hastings' conviction was therefore upheld. Later in 1992, Hastings was elected to Congress in Florida's Twenty-Third Congressional District. In 2006, after being reelected for the seventh time, Hastings was considered to chair the House Intelligence Committee in the 110th Congress. Facing pressure as a result of Hastings' troubled past, Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ultimately declined to give Hastings the job, choosing Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) instead.
Hastings accused of accepting bribe
In 1981, two brothers, Frank and Thomas Romano, were accused of stealing $1 million from a union pension fund. The men were tried and convicted in Hastings’ court. As they awaited sentencing, William Dredge, a man facing separate drug charges, contacted the FBI and said that Hastings had solicited a bribe in the ongoing criminal case involving the Romano brothers.
Dredge said that William Borders, a lawyer friend of Hastings, was interested in soliciting a bribe for Hastings from the Romano brothers. He said that Borders had asked him to see if the brothers were interested in paying Hastings $150,000 in exchange for no jail time and having their gains from the robbery returned to them.
FBI sting operation against Hastings and Borders
After interviewing Dredge several times, the FBI designed a sting operation. An agent, posing as Frank Romano, approached Borders to say that the Romanos were interested in paying off Hastings in return for light treatment. Borders said it could be done. The undercover agent then indicated he wanted to go ahead with the deal, but said he had some questions. They included:
How do I know you really speak for Hastings?
Can you arrange some sort of sign to show that Hastings is on board?
In response to the latter, Borders said that this could be done, and offered to have Hastings show up for dinner at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami on September 16, 1981. If Hastings came, this would be a signal that he was on board. Indeed, Hastings arrived for dinner. In a meeting that night, the FBI agent, posing as Frank Romano, gave Borders $25,000 as a down payment. In return, Hastings was to throw out the forfeiture judgment against the Romanos. After that, the rest of the money, $125,000, would be paid ...
Corruption scandal and impeachment, con't here