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Former Philly congressman faces prison on bribery charges for 2nd time

KYW Radio Philadelphia logo KYW Radio Philadelphia 6/7/2022 Pat Loeb
Ozzie Myers. © Provided by KYW Radio Philadelphia Ozzie Myers.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A disgraced former congressman from Philadelphia has pleaded guilty in federal court to vote fraud.

Former U.S. Rep. Michael "Ozzie" Myers is living proof that there are second acts in America, even if they end much like the first one.

Myers, who served in Congress from 1976 to 1980, will forever be known for his line to undercover FBI agents in the 1978 ABSCAM investigation.

“I’m going to tell you something real simple and short. Money talks in this business and (expletive) walks. It works the same way down in Washington,” Myers said on a secretly-recorded video in which he took $50,000 from the agents.

He was expelled from Congress and went to prison on a bribery conviction.

But Philadelphia politics has room for a lot. Myers made a low-key comeback as a political consultant, taking on candidates who needed his expertise in the intricacies of South Philadelphia politics.

Now 79, Myers admitted in federal court to bribing former Judge of Elections Domenick DeMuro to cast fraudulent votes for his candidates and others in elections from 2014 through 2018, and to convincing another election official, Marie Beren, to do the same.

Federal officials say Myers gave DeMuro between $300 and $5,000 for the fraudulent votes. Myers would then falsely certify the votes. Authorities said Beren “essentially ran polling places in her division.”

DeMuro and Beren, a former staff member for Councilmember Mark Squilla, have already pleaded guilty to their roles over the last 20 months. DeMuro has been co-operating in the investigation.

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