CLEVELAND – Convicted Ohio Rep. James Traficant said Friday he will not resign and will instead appeal his case and run as an independent in the same voting district this fall.
"I have no plans to resign, and I intend to run as an independent in November for the 17th District of Ohio," said Traficant, who was convicted in Ohio Thursday on 10 counts of bribery, racketeering and fraud.
"As for Dick Gephardt," he added, pointing to the minority leader's call for his resignation Thursday, "I meant it when I told him to go f--- himself. I didn't ask for him to resign as a result of him being an impotent leader and for having screwed up the party."
Gephardt said Thursday that "the House has a process to deal with convicted felons," but "in light of the gravity of the charges outlined in the guilty verdict against Mr. Traficant, I think the prudent course of action would be an immediate resignation."
The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct has already announced it will convene a meeting to consider disciplinary hearings against the nine-term Democrat. Such proceedings could result in a recommendation of expulsion.
Traficant, who represented himself in the trial, said he will appeal his case based on "substantial grounds of misconduct and mishandling of the case" by presiding Judge Lesley Wells, whom he accuses of unfair favorable treatment of witnesses in the government's case against him.
He said a Democratic machine of intimidation and vendetta drove this case.