Advertisement

Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 329–351 | Cite as

The C.T.A. case: A study in political corruption

  • Philip Jenkins
Articles

Abstract

Between 1984 and 1987, a wide-ranging corruption scandal in Pennsylvania resulted in the conviction and disgrace of a number of high-ranking elected officials, as well as the much publicized suicide of state Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer. This “C.T.A. case” initially appeared to be a straightforward and almost commonplace affair involving bribes and kickbacks to secure state contracts; but on further examination, this seemingly uncomplicated case can be shown to have involved elaborate conflicts at both state and federal level, and the direction and outcome of the prosecution were heavily influenced by political factors and bureaucratic self-interest.

This paper will provide a narrative of the C.T.A. case and related incidents, and also describe the external factors which shaped the investigation. Particular emphasis will be placed on the complex relationship between state-level political interests and the activities of federal prosecutors. The C.T.A. affair offers an excellent illustration of the difficulty of gaining an accurate understanding of even an apparently simple case of political corruption, and the implication is that more elaborate incidents are even less amenable to any kind of academic or social scientific observation. The case can only be understood if full account is taken of the prosecutorial and investigative process which turned the original illegal transactions into a full-blown public scandal, factors which are often insufficiently emphasized in research on political corruption.

Keywords

External Factor Complex Relationship State Contract International Relation Full Account 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adams, James Ring (1990),The Big Fix: Inside the S&L Scandal. New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  2. Adams, James Ring, with Douglas Frantz (1992).A Full Service Bank: How BCCI Stole Billions Around the World New York: Pocket Books.Google Scholar
  3. Associated Press (1985a), “New Allegations Surface As Contract Bribery Trial Opens”, Associated Press wire service story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania March 27.Google Scholar
  4. Associated Press (1985b), “Defendant Gave Stocks to Former Official”, Associated Press wire service story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, March 28.Google Scholar
  5. Associated Press (1986), “Muir: Asher, Dwyer Can Expect Jail”, Associated Press wire service story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, December 20.Google Scholar
  6. Associated Press (1987), “Chronology of C.T.A. Case”, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, January 23.Google Scholar
  7. Associated Press (1988), “Attorney: More Corruption Will Surface Among Politicos”, Associated Press wire service story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, January 16.Google Scholar
  8. Barbrook, A.T. (1987), “Campaign Finance in American State Elections”,Corruption and Reform, 2: 17–40.Google Scholar
  9. Barker, Jeff (1989), “FBI Probe Recalls Specter-Gray Feud”, Associated Press wire service story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, June 6.Google Scholar
  10. Benson, George C.S., S.A. Maaranen and A. Heslop (1978),Political Corruption in America, Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  11. Berg, Larry L., H. Hahn and J.R. Schmidhauser (1976).Corruption in the American Political System. Morristown, NJ: General learning Press.Google Scholar
  12. “Bribery Scandal” (1984) “Bribery Scandal in Pennsylvania”,New York Times August 26.Google Scholar
  13. Buckler, Arthur (1984), “Kerr Found Guilty of Selling Jobs”, Associated Press wire service story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, July 1.Google Scholar
  14. Cockburn, Leslie (1987),Out of Control, New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.Google Scholar
  15. Coleman, James W. (1985).The Criminal Elite, New York: St Martin's Press.Google Scholar
  16. Demaris, Ovid (1986),The Boardwalk Jungle, New York: Bantam.Google Scholar
  17. Douglas, Jack D., and John M. Johnson, (eds.) (1977),Official Deviance, New York: Lippincott.Google Scholar
  18. Eichenwald, Kurt (1989) “A Prosecutor on a Roll”,New York Times January 23.Google Scholar
  19. Eisenstadt, Abraham S., Ari Hoogenboom, and H. L. Trefousse, (eds.) (1978),Before Watergate: Problems of Corruption in American Society, Brooklyn NY: Brooklyn College Press.Google Scholar
  20. Ermann, M. David, and Richard J. Lundman (1992),Corporate and Governmental Deviance, fourth edition, New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Eshleman, Russell E. (1992). “Bailey Aide Indicted in Bid-Rigging Case”Philadelphia Inquirer, December 12.Google Scholar
  22. Grady, Sandy (1989), “The Heat's On Thornburgh”, Knight-Ridder news story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, June 5.Google Scholar
  23. Gronbeck, Bruce E. (1989), “The Rhetoric of Political Corruption”, in Heidenheimer et al. (eds.)Political Corruption: A Handbook, 173–189.Google Scholar
  24. Heidenheimer, Arnold J., ed., (1978).Political Corruption: Readings in Comparative Analysis, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.Google Scholar
  25. Heidenheimer, Arnold J., Michael Johnston and Victor T. LeVine, (eds.), (1989).Political Corruption: A Handbook, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.Google Scholar
  26. “Inquiry” (1987) “Inquiry Finds No Wrongdoing in Pennsylvania Suicide Case”New York Times, August 30.Google Scholar
  27. Keisling, William, and Richard Kearns (1988).The Sins of Our Fathers: A Profile of Pennsylvania Attorney-General LeRoy Zimmerman and A Historical Explanation of the Suicide of State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer. Harrisburg, PA: privately printed.Google Scholar
  28. Kirkpatrick, Rich (1989), “Bailey Fires Final Shot as Auditor”, Associated Press wire service story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, January 14.Google Scholar
  29. Klein, Philip S., and Ari Hoogenboom (1980),A History of Pennsylvania, second edition. Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Klitgaard, Robert (1988),Controlling Corruption. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  31. Kwitny, Jonathan (1987),The Crimes of Patriots, New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  32. Larragoite, Victor (1992), “AZSCAM: White Collar Crime and the Police”, Paper presented to the American Society of Criminology, New Orleans, LA: November.Google Scholar
  33. Lewis, Anthony (1989) “The Price of Reagan”,New York Times February 2.Google Scholar
  34. Lewis, Neil A. (1990) “A Rising Star Brought Low By Drugs”,New York Times February 24.Google Scholar
  35. Lippman, Walter (1989) “A Theory About Corruption”, in Heidenheimer, et al., (eds.),Political Corruption: A Handbook, 567–69.Google Scholar
  36. Lounsberry, Emile (1990), “Baylson Makes His Own Way”,Philadelphia Inquirer, April 8.Google Scholar
  37. Lowry, Martin E (1991).High Rollers: Inside the Savings and Loan Debacle, New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  38. Marengo, F.D., (1988), “The Linkage Between Political Corruption and Political Scandal”,Corruption and Reform, 3: 65–80.Google Scholar
  39. Marx, Gary (1988),Undercover, Berkeley, CA: University of California.Google Scholar
  40. Mayer, Martin (1992),The Greatest-Ever Bank Robbery, New York: Collier.Google Scholar
  41. Moodie, Graeme (1989), “On Political Scandals and Corruption”, in Heidenheimer et al, (eds.),Political Corruption: A Handbook, 873–86.Google Scholar
  42. Morris, David (1985a), “Dwyer Sought C.T.A. Bribe, Jury Told”,Harrisburg Patriot (Harrisburg, PA), March 27.Google Scholar
  43. Morris, David (1985b), “C.T.A. Courted Him, Family, Scanlon Says”,Harrisburg Patriot (Harrisburg, PA.), March 28.Google Scholar
  44. Morris, David (1985c), “Torquato Testimony Due Today in C.T.A. Trial”Harrisburg Patriot (Harrisburg, PA.), March 29.Google Scholar
  45. Morris, David (1985d), “Torquato: Game Is Played With Money”,Harrisburg Patriot (Harrisburg, PA.), March 30.Google Scholar
  46. Morris, David (1987), “Document: Dwyer Tried Four Times to Call Off Probe”, Associated Press wire service story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, July 24.Google Scholar
  47. Morris, David (1990), “Attorney Justifies Handling of Case”, Associated Press wire service story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, August 26.Google Scholar
  48. Newfield, Jack and Wayne Barrett (1989),City for Sale: Ed Koch and the Betrayal of New York, New York: Perennial.Google Scholar
  49. Noonan, John T., (1984),Bribes, New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  50. Parsons, Patrick R., and William E. Smith (1988), “R. Budd Dwyer: A Case-Study in Newsroom Decision Making”,Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 3(1).Google Scholar
  51. Payne, Bruce (1989), “Spiro Agnew and Maryland Customs”, in Heidenheimer et al, (eds.),Political Corruption: A Handbook, 601–625.Google Scholar
  52. Pennsylvania Manual (1985-).Pensylvania Manual. Annual volumes. Harrisburg, PA: Department of General Services.Google Scholar
  53. Pennsylvania: Office of Inspector General (1988-).Annual Report of the Office of the State Inspector General. Annual volumes 1988-present. Harrisburg, PA.Google Scholar
  54. Peters, John G., and Susan Welch (1978) “Political Corruption in America”,American Political Science Review 72.Google Scholar
  55. Piper, Michael Collins (1993). “Hidden Story About Dwyer Suicide: Media Is Silent”,Spotlight January 4.Google Scholar
  56. Pizzo, Stephen, Mary Fricker and Paul Muolo (1989).Inside Job: the Looting of America's Savings and Loans New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  57. Potts, Mark, with Lionel Kochan and Robert Whittington (1992).Dirty Money: BCCI, the Inside Story of the World's Sleaziest Bank, Washington: National Press Books.Google Scholar
  58. Ruff, Charles F.C (1989). “Federal Prosecution of Local Corruption” in Heidenheimer et al, (eds.),Political Corruption: A Handbook, 627–37.Google Scholar
  59. Sherman, Lawrence W. (1978).Scandal and Reform: Controlling Police Corruption. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.Google Scholar
  60. Siegel, Joel (1985a), “State Bribary Trial Spreads Allegations Through Capital”, Associated Press wire service story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, April 14.Google Scholar
  61. Siegel, Joel (1985b), “Defendants in Bribe Case Found Guilty”, Associated Press wire service story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, June 25.Google Scholar
  62. Siegel, Joel (1986), “Dwyer Welcomes Chance to Clear His Good Name”, Associated Press wire service story, published in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, May 14.Google Scholar
  63. Simon, D.R. and D.S. Eitzen (1982),Elite Deviance, Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  64. Szasz, Andrew (1986) “The Process and Significance of Political Scandals: A Comparison of Watergate and the Sewergate Episode at the Environmental Protection Agency”,Social Problems, 33: 202–217.Google Scholar
  65. Vaughan, Diane (1984),Controlling Unlawful Organizational Behavior, Univ. of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  66. Werner, Leslie Maitland (1984), “U.S. Attorney in Cleveland Discharged by President”,New York Times, October 3.Google Scholar
  67. Whitaker, Charles N. (1992), “Federal Prosecution of State and Local Bribery: Inappropriate Tools and the Need for a Structural Approach”,Virginia Law Review, 78(7): 1617–1654.Google Scholar
  68. Wilson, James Q. (1968) “Corruption is Not Always Scandalous”, in John A. Gardiner and D.J. Olson, (eds.)Theft of the City: Readings on Corruption in America, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  69. Wilson, James Q (1989), “Corruption: The Shame of the States”, in Heidenheimer et al, (eds.),Political Corruption: A Handbook, 589–600.Google Scholar
  70. Zausner, Robert (1988), “Ex-State Auditor Sentenced For Sins”, originally published in “Philadelphia Inquirer”, reprinted in theCentre Daily Times, Centre County, Pennsylvania, February 13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Jenkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Administration of Justice DepartmentPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations