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first_img Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon, called Cunningham a friend and colleague in a statement Tuesday that emphasized his accomplishments as a fighter pilot. “We, his remaining friends, have spent the last day with Duke praying and talking about a new chapter in Duke’s life, a chapter of service to God,” Hunter said. Cunningham, who was in his eighth term, is free as he awaits sentencing Feb. 27. He faces up to 10 years in prison for tax evasion and conspiracy, having admitted taking $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for steering government contracts to coconspirators. Cunningham sat on the House subcommittee that controls defense spending. The investigation is continuing, now focusing on the four unnamed coconspirators listed in Cunningham’s plea. Cunningham said he was cooperating. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Patricia Ferrier wrote a $750 check to Cunningham after he called her several months ago to complain about his legal troubles. “That was the best we could do,” said Ferrier, who owns a closed-captioning business with her husband in Carlsbad, a north San Diego suburb. “I’ve seen him cry at a pancake breakfast when a child was ill,” Ferrier said. “What emboldened him to do this?” Cunningham, 63, made his admission in federal court Monday then tearfully resigned a short time later. He suffered another humiliation Tuesday: a rebuke from President George W. Bush. “The idea of a congressman taking money is outrageous, and Congressman Cunningham is going to realize that he has broken the law and is going to pay a serious price, which he should,” Bush said in Texas. WASHINGTON – A mansion, a yacht and $1.8 million in cash. Silver candelabras and a Rolls-Royce. The details of Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham’s ill-gotten gains, contained in his plea agreement admitting bribery and tax evasion, read like a “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” fantasy. The plea document also shows how a lawmaker who seemingly hungered for money and the trappings of wealth played the system for years, falling deeper into corruption as he was eagerly helped along by some of the dealmakers who populate Washington. Constituents of Cunningham, a San Diego-area Republican and Vietnam War hero, said they were outraged by his admissions. last_img read more