- Category : 1941-births
- Type : ME
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Separation 2
American politician, called one of the most corrupt Congressmen ever. He resigned from Congress in a tearful speech, having confessed to taking over $2 million in bribes.
Cunningham earned his bachelor's and later a master's in education. He landed a job as a high school physical education teacher and swimming coach. He later joined the navy and established an illustrious career lasting 21 years. As a fighter pilot in Viet Nam, he was a war hero, shooting down enemy planes. His public persona was built around being a war hero. A Republican, he won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1992. He ran against an incumbent who was embroiled in the savings and loan scandal and Cunningham painted himself as clean. He seemed to have been a straight shooter with his blunt confrontational style. But his increasingly rich lifestyle and trips to Saudi Arabia caught the attention of an investigative reporter. Cunningham was on the appropriations committee and was found to be steering contracts to certain defense contractors in exchange for an inflated price for the purchase of Cunnignham's house, a Rols Royce, a yacht, other gifts, meals, and cash in the pocket.
On November 28, 2005, he gave his resignation speech in tears. He pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail and wire fraud and tax evasion. On March 3, 2006, he was sentenced to spend over eight years in jail and to pay nearly $2 million in restitution.
Cunningham has been married twice, first in 1965. His first wife Susan left him, but not before filing a restraining order against him for emotional abuse. He evidently found comfort in religion and became a "born again" Christian in 1973. He remarried in 1974 but his second wife filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order as well, saying she feared for safety. In 1977 she had the divorce revoked. They had two children.