ORLANDO, Fla. -- Former US representative Richard Kelly, the Republican congressman caught in the 1980 Abscam corruption scandal, died Aug. 22 at a nursing home in Stevensville, Mont., where he retired. He was 81.
The former Orlando-area politician was one of several congressmen convicted of taking bribes from FBI agents posing as fronts for an Arab sheik seeking influence.
Mr. Kelly was convicted of accepting $25,000, but the decision was overturned in 1982 after a judge ruled that the FBI's persistence amounted to entrapment. However, a higher court reinstated the conviction in 1984. Mr. Kelly served 13 months in prison.
Before he was elected to Congress in 1974, Mr. Kelly was a circuit judge in Pasco and Pinellas counties for 14 years, where he had a reputation as a maverick.
He was defeated in his reelection bid in 1980 after Abscam.