Posted: Aug. 6, 2003
CAMPAIGN AIDE FOR BIDEN ACCUSED
OF LIVING A DOUBLE LIFE
By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer
Roger D. Blevins III, the campaign aide
accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from U.S.
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s treasury, is said by federal authorities
to have spent the money for the high life -- a surprising
contradiction to his reputation for modest living.
Blevins, 32, of Elsmere, was indicted
Wednesday by a federal grand jury on 20 counts of interstate
transfer of stolen property, a crime that carries a maximum prison
sentence of 10 years, according to U.S. Attorney Colm F. Connolly.
The indictment comes about two weeks since
Blevins was arrested by the FBI, after Biden's staff went to federal
authorities with suspicions about embezzling that drained its
account of $350,000, essentially all that was left from a $3-million
re-election victory for Delaware's senior Democratic senator last
Blevins next will be scheduled for an initial
court appearance on the charges, Connolly said.
The indictment describes a Roger Blevins
nobody apparently knew in the Democratic Party, which seemed to be
his life. That Roger Blevins was regarded as a quiet eccentric whose
vanity was spinning fanciful tales about himself but who otherwise
lived small, known for driving an old car and wearing
The Roger Blevins in the indictment is charged
with stealing $260,000 and spending it on three people he met on the
Internet as well as on luxury items, including a Porsche, a BMW
convertible, a plasma-screen television, trips to Florida and other
travel expenses, according to Connolly.
"We had no idea," said Margaret Aitken, the
senator's press secretary.
It was a far cry from the Roger Blevins whose
most illustrious role was to be the secretary for the New Castle
County Democrats and who held jobs through the years as a
functionary at Democratic headquarters, Legislative Hall and the
Biden campaign. Blevins, however, was authorized for access to
Biden's account, according to Connolly, and he also was known for
his computer know-how.
Blevins' Internet acquaintances were not named
in the indictment, and Connolly would not say whether their
identities are known. In addition, the indictment only deals with
$260,000 and not the entire $350,000 said to be missing.
Blevins did not return a telephone call
Wednesday evening for comment.
Biden, now in his sixth term, was not alone
among his colleagues in having his campaign treasury allegedly
pilfered. According to Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, there
has been something of a crime wave of late.
U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat,
and Elizabeth Dole, a North Carolina Republican, each lost about
$100,000 in inside jobs, Roll Call said. Other campaigns reporting
they were hit were: U.S. Rep. John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, for
roughly $400,000; and U.S. Rep. Sam Farr and former Rep. Gary
Condit, both California Democrats, more than $35,000 each.
In addition, U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, a
Mississippi Republican, had $85,000 taken from his political action
committee, and U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla, a Texas Republican, was
bilked for $160,000 by the executive director of his PAC, the
"This problem has always existed, and almost
every election cycle you see some embezzlement issue," Larry Noble,
a campaign finance expert, told Roll Call. "But it does seem like
it's on the increase, at least anecdotally."
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