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N. Mavroules, 74; 7-Term Congressman From Massachusetts

December 27, 2003|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Nicholas Mavroules, 74, a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts who served seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before being voted out in a corruption scandal that sent him to prison, died Thursday at Salem Hospital in Massachusetts. He was recovering from gastric surgery at the hospital, but the cause of death was not reported.

The son of Greek immigrants, Mavroules began his Massachusetts political career in Peabody, first as a city councilman and then as mayor.

He was elected to his first term in Congress in 1978. In Washington, Mavroules served as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Investigations, helping to expose cost overruns on Navy aircraft and to shed light on the deadly 1989 explosion on the battleship Iowa.

He also led a congressional probe into the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. servicemen.

Mavroules was reelected six times, but he was voted out in 1992, the year he was indicted for misuse of his office for private gain.

Allegations included accepting illegal gifts and failing to report them on congressional disclosure and income tax forms.

In April 1993, Mavroules pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a 15-month prison term.

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