Harris, Goode surface in Cunningham case

Feb. 25, 2006 at 7:48 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- A defense contractor at the center of the case involving former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., has pleaded guilty to corruption charges.

Among them are trying to bribe other members of Congress as well as Defense Department employees he wanted to steer business his way.

The Washington Post reports Mitchell J. Wade, head of MZM Inc., pleaded guilty to giving Cunningham more than $1 million in various expensive items, among other bribes.

Cunningham resigned in November following his guilty plea of accepting $2.4 million worth of bribes.

The Wade guilty plea doesn't stop at Cunningham though.

He admitted to hiring the son of a Defense Department official in charge of procurement.

After MZM got a contract, it hired on that official as well, he said.

And Wade admitted to giving money to employees who then donated $80,000 to two members of Congress as a way to skirt campaign finance regulations.

He said the goal was to get the two to earmark funds for his company in various contracts.

The Post has identified the two as Republican House members, Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. of Virginia and former Florida Secretary of State and 2000 state Bush campaign chairwoman, Rep. Katherine Harris.

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