Posted: July 22, 2003
CAMPAIGN AIDE FOR BIDEN
ARRESTED FOR EMBEZZLEMENT
By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer
Roger D. Blevins III, a familiar
behind-the-scenes figure in state Democratic politics, was arrested
Tuesday morning for allegedly embezzling $350,000 from the campaign
treasury for U.S. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., essentially draining
what was left in the account, according to the offices of Biden and
the U.S. Attorney for Delaware.
The arrest came a week after Blevins admitted
to two FBI agents he had taken the money by making 22 electronic
transfers, one for $80,000, to other bank accounts, including one in
Florida, between October and July, U.S. Attorney Colm F. Connolly
Blevins, 32, of Elsmere, turned himself in to
the FBI and was released on his own recognizance by the U.S.
District Court. He was charged with the interstate transfer of
stolen property, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 10
years. He will be scheduled for a court appearance within 10 days,
the two offices said.
Blevins could not be located for comment.
Penny Marshall of the
Federal Public Defender's Office declined comment and said Blevins
Details of what happened were sketchy. The
investigation began 10 days ago when Biden's staff went to the
Federal Bureau of Investigation with their suspicions of
embezzlement, according to Margaret Aitken, the senator's press
Blevins has been a campaign worker for Biden
for nine years, most recently earning about $25,000 a year, Aitken
said. He was part of the 2002 re-election effort, which spent
roughly $3 million to put Biden in the Senate for a sixth term by
defeating Republican Raymond J. Clatworthy with 58 percent of the
After the election Blevins was retained as a
one-man skeleton crew. The timing of the alleged thefts occurred
from the harried climax of the campaign to the desultory interest
that comes afterwards.
"Senator Biden is obviously disappointed and
shares a sense of betrayal with all of his supporters," Aitken said.
The first public sign that something was wrong
actually came last week. At that time Blevins submitted his
resignation, citing personal reasons, as secretary for the New
Castle County Democrats, according to John D. Daniello, the county
Blevins had something of a reputation for
quiet eccentricity but also for an ever-helpful manner and a knack
for computer work. He got his start in party politics by
volunteering at Democratic state headquarters in the early 1990s and
also worked for a time as an aide in Legislative Hall.
There seemed to be talk of little else Tuesday
in Democratic Party circles. The sense of shock was exceeded only by
a determination to keep all that talk private. No one had seen this
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