The higher up you climb, the further down you fall.
Former GOP representative Duncan Hunter received a sentencing of 11 months in federal prison due to an illegal misuse of campaign funds, likely ending his political career.
Hunter began serving as a representative for California congress in 2009, replacing his father, former Congressman Duncan L. Hunter, who held the congressional seat for 28 years. Both were promising individuals, the younger Hunter serving during the Iraq war, and his father a former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
At the tail-end of a swift decline, Duncan Hunter resigned his congressional seat this past January due to criminal charges brought against him and his wife a little over a year before.
Per the August 2018 indictment, during his induction into Congress in 2009 and up until the end of 2016, both Hunter and his wife Margaret were charged of conspiracy to, “knowingly and willfully convert Campaign funds to personal use by using them to fulfill personal commitments, obligations, and expenses that would have existed irrespective of Duncan Hunter’s election campaign…”
Frivolous and inconsiderate spending of campaign funds is a violation of Federal Law, so naturally Hunter was charged with corruption after spending $250,000 worth of campaign money on various items such as eating out, airline tickets, hotel rooms, birthday parties, and even spending money to fly the family pet, a bunny named “Eggburt”, cross-country.
Last year former Representative Darrell Issa, a proclaimed friend of Hunter, announced his intention to supplant Hunter as the next congressman from the 50th Congressional District.
“He deserves his day in court,” Issa said, and proceeded to express his conviction unreservedly that, “the 50th Congressional District does deserve the ability to maintain this as a conservative district and, quite frankly, to have a member who can show up and take all of his committee assignments.” A remark displaying clearly the fragile position Hunter was in.
Both husband and wife were indicted on five dozen criminal counts, including wire fraud & conspiracy and falsification of records.
Hunter initially denied all charges and his attorneys made the case that the prosecution was unfairly trying to embarrass him. Later however, he gave way to a change of heart and decided it would be better to plead guilty. Duncan described his defection as a mindful consideration for his family’s sake.
“It’s important not to have a public trial for three reasons, and those three reasons are my kids,” he admitted to KUSI, a local television station in San Diego last December.
“Whatever my time in custody is, I will take that hit…my only hope is that the judge does not sentence my wife to jail. I think my kids need a mom in the home.” Hunter concluded.
To this tune, Margaret Hunter struck a plea deal, the only catch being she had to testify against her husband in court. Her sentencing is scheduled to be held on April 7, and her husband is obliged to turn himself in and begin serving his sentence starting May 29.
John Rosenbaum is an Orange County worker’s compensation and personal injury attorney.