Richard Kelly (politician)
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Florida's 5th district
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1981
|Preceded by||Bill Gunter|
|Succeeded by||Bill McCollum|
|Born||July 31, 1924|
|Died||August 22, 2005 (aged 81)|
|Alma mater||University of Florida|
|Branch/service||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1942–1946|
Early life and career
Kelly was born July 31, 1924, in Atlanta, Georgia, his mother abandoned him in an orphanage at an early age. He attended a one-room school in Crystal Springs. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1942 to 1946, attended Colorado State College of Education and Vanderbilt College of Law, and graduated from the University of Florida College of Law in Florida with a Juris Doctor in 1952.
While in Colorado, he married for the first of five times. He was admitted to the Florida bar the same year and practiced in Zephyrhills. In 1953, he became city attorney of Zephyrhills and worked from 1956 to 1959 as senior assistant to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Kelly was appointed circuit judge of the sixth judicial circuit of Florida and served from 1960 to 1974, when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Republican. Troubled by accusations of insanity in the 1970s, Kelly allowed himself to be examined by doctors, who declared him sane, allowing him to boast that he was "the only Congressman officially certified as not cuckoo."
He served three terms in the House of Representatives, starting in 1975. He opposed Food Stamps, aid to the failing Chrysler Corporation and financially troubled New York City. He attributed New York City fiscal crisis to the pay for police and firefighters and aid to poor people: "The unions have forced industry out of the city. The uniformed services are the highest-paid in the U.S. of A. And welfare? City politicians keep jacking up the rates to get the ghetto vote. No doubt about it."
Abscam scandal and later life
Kelley was convicted of taking $25,000 in bribes. He claimed he had conducted his own undercover operation and spent part of the money to maintain that cover, but was convicted and served thirteen months of a 6 to 18 month sentence at the federal prison camp at Eglin Air Force Base. During his third term, he also divorced his wife and married his secretary. He was released from a halfway house in 1986.
- List of American federal politicians convicted of crimes
- List of federal political scandals in the United States
- Groer, Anne (21 October 1985). "The Life And Times Of Richard Kelly -- Will It Sell?". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- KELLY, Richard (1924-2005). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Craig Pittman. OH, Florida!. p. 102.
- Denis Hamill and Ken Lerer, "The Congressman from Disney World," New York Magazine, January 9, 1979, p.10, cited in Soffer, Jonathan. Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012., p. 152 (ISBN 978-0-231-15032-3)
- Libit, Daniel (2009-05-08). "The lamest excuses ever". The Politico. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
- Wolfgang Saxon (August 26, 2005). "Richard Kelly, 81, Congressman Who Went to Prison in Scandal, Dies".
- Lucy Morgan, St. Petersburg Times (August 27, 2005). "RICHARD KELLY, 81, SERVED TIME FOR BRIBERY". sun-sentinel.com.
- Morgan, Lucy (25 August 2005). "Representative convicted in Abscam dies". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- United States Congress. "Richard Kelly (id: K000077)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Richard Kelly at Find a Grave
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 5th congressional district
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress document: "KELLY, Richard". Retrieved 2009-05-09.