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Congressman Says Former Aide Improperly Pocketed Funds

September 26, 1989

CAMBRIDGE, Md. (AP) _ Rep. Roy P. Dyson said Monday he has made ″mistakes in judgment″ while in office and that his former top aide who committed suicide had improperly pocketed campaign funds.

The five-term Democrat from Maryland also said he was returning $18,000 in campaign contributions made by officials connected to a defense contractor.

Dyson said his former top aide and campaign manager, Tom Pappas, improperly pocketed nearly $7,300 in campaign funds. Pappas wrote $7,275 in checks to other Dyson staff members and told them to give him the cash, Dyson said.

″I must accept ultimate responsibility for these errors in judgment because Tom Pappas was my campaign manager,″ Dyson said. ″I was not aware that Tom was writing checks to staff members and asking them to cash those checks and return the cash to him.″

Pappas committed suicide in May 1988 by jumping from a New York hotel following newspaper reports that were highly critical of his management of Dyson’s congressional office.

The apparent violations will be reported to the Federal Elections Commission, Dyson said.

Dyson also said he would return $18,000 in campaign contributions received from officials connected to Unisys Corp., one of several defense contractors under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for suspected violations of contract procurement regulations.

He said was returning the money because individual guilty pleas entered as a result of the investigation ″point to a systematic attempt on the part of Unisys to circumvent the federal laws governing campaign contributions,″ said Dyson, who sits on a House subcommittee with repsonsibility for approving the Pentagon budget.

″Mistakes were made by my staff. I have made mistakes of judgment,″ Dyson added. ″I regret the controversy these matters have caused, but I want the people of Maryland to know that these were mistakes of the head, not of the heart.″

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