BETHESDA, Md. — Former Rep. Bill Chappell (D-Fla.), who served in Congress for 20 years before he lost a reelection bid in the wake of allegations involving the Pentagon procurement scandal, died today in a Bethesda clinic where he had been undergoing treatment for bone cancer. He was 67.
Chappell was defeated last November by political novice Craig James. Chappell lost by 732 votes but did not concede defeat for more than five weeks.
A 20-year member of the House, Chappell was named in several documents related to the Pentagon kickback and bribery scandal but was not charged with any crime. He was criticized for allowing several major defense contractors to help him out of financial difficulties when they purchased or arranged for the sale of several failing business interests during the last five years.