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Regional briefs

April 24, 2003

Fund-raiser sentenced for child pornography


BALTIMORE (AP) - The president of a legal aid group that has raised money for embattled national conservative leaders received two years probation on Wednesday for producing child pornography.

Richard A. Delgaudio, president of the Virginia-based Legal Affairs Council, pleaded guilty in February to one felony count of producing child pornography after paying two teenage girls to pose for sexual photos in a Baltimore hotel.

The Legal Affairs Council raised money for the legal defense of Oliver North's legal defense bills during his Iran-Contra trial.




PennDOT investigates overpayment charges


PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is investigating whether its district offices routinely inflated inspectors' qualifications after a former employee filed a whistle-blower's lawsuit alleging consultants were overpaid.

So far, PennDOT auditors have found problems with 13 of 19 private companies hired to inspect road and bridge work throughout the state. PennDOT spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick declined to elaborate on the audit.

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PennDOT would request reimbursement for any overpayment while taking "appropriate action" against fraud, Kirkpatrick said.




Capito confident donations will pick up


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Early donations to Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's 2004 re-election effort have lagged behind those in her last race but West Virginia's only congressional Republican is not worried.

Between January and March, Capito, R-W.Va., received $18,725 in contributions and has $103,437 on hand, according to her most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission.

In the first six months of 2001, Capito received $466,638 in contributions, records show.




Suspect in slaying shoots self after chase


BALTIMORE (AP) - A man suspected of killing his wife and her parents shot himself in the head after being chased and pulled over by State Police in West Virginia, police said Wednesday.

Jack Durrett, 43, survived the gunshot wound and was in critical condition late Wednesday at University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., a hospital staff administrator said.

West Virginia police had been alerted to look out for Durrett's Nissan Maxima, and they pulled him over in Franklin, W.Va., at 3 p.m., said Charles Ravenell, spokesman for Anne Arundel County police. Durrett got out of his car and fled into the woods, Ravenell said.




Dean says senator should resign post


WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean on Wednesday called for Republican Sen. Rick Santorum to resign his leadership post after the lawmaker compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery.

"Gay-bashing is not a legitimate public policy discussion; it is immoral. Rick Santorum's failure to recognize that attacking people because of who they are is morally wrong makes him unfit for a leadership position in the United States Senate," Dean said in a statement.

Santorum, Pennsylvania's junior senator, is No. 3 in the GOP leadership, serving as the Republican Party's conference chairman. On Tuesday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee also called for Santorum to step down as conference chairman; gay-rights groups and several Democrats have criticized the lawmaker for his comments.

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