Duke Cunningham Has Been Chatty - with the Feds

Brian Zick

George Condon Jr. and Marcus Stern for Copley News Service report: In two days of prison interviews with federal agents this year, disgraced former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham described a level of corruption on his part more extensive than previously known and dealt a potentially devastating blow to the defense being waged by one of the defense contractors alleged to have bribed him.The interviews were conducted in February at the federal prison near Tucson, where the longtime Republican congressman is serving an eight-year and four-month sentence after admitting to accepting more than $2.4 million in bribes. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion.According to an 11-page FBI summary of the sessions, obtained by Copley News Service, Cunningham was very much the initiator of his corrupt actions, demanding bribes, accepting envelopes with cash and displaying an insatiable appetite for more money, more cars, more drink, more fine food and more expensive goods.Cunningham's answers are bad news for Brent Wilkes, president of Poway-based ADCS Inc., who is fighting bribery charges against him.Wilkes faces 30 counts in two separate indictments, including charges that he gave Cunningham $600,000 in gifts and cash in exchange for Cunningham's help in getting more than $80 million in defense contracts. Wilkes' two trials are expected to occur this fall. The government has not said if it will bring Cunningham back to San Diego to testify. Lots and lots of details about Cunningham's monumental corruption.

Before you go

Reader donations, many as small as just $5, are what fund the work of writers like this—and keep our content free and accessible to everyone. But when donations slow down, it puts our future reporting at risk. To get back on track, we're aiming to add 400 contributions from readers by the end of the month.

It only takes a minute to donate. Will you chip in before the deadline?

Subscribe and Save 66%

Less than $1.67 an issue