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The Nation

October 18, 1987

Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham's $77,500-a-year special assistant went on paid leave hours after being indicted on a felony extortion charge. Sam Steiger, a former congressman, was accused of retaliating against a state Parole Board member who would not follow Steiger's instructions to vote against a resolution seeking the resignation of the board's executive director. Steiger was indicted after a tape was played in Maricopa County Superior Court, in which Steiger told Parole Board member Ronald Dean Johnson, "You don't take direction, in which case you are not fit to be a board member. Your vote yesterday was against the wishes of the people who hired you, and that ain't the way it is played." Superior Court Judge Thomas O'Toole, declined to indict Steiger on a second count of soliciting the acceptance of a bribe. He ordered Steiger to appear in court by Oct. 23. Steiger insisted he did not try to influence Johnson's vote.

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