WASHINGTON — President Bush has pardoned a former mayor of Plano, Texas, who served jail time for bank fraud, the Justice Department announced Monday.
The pardon, approved Saturday, was Bush's eighth use of the presidential power, which he last exercised in December 2002.
David B. McCall Jr., 79, pleaded guilty in late 1996 and served six months in federal prison for his role in a phony record-keeping scheme related to a loan made by Plano Savings & Loan Assn. McCall had been chairman and president of the financial institution, which failed during the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s.
In addition to his time in prison, McCall was sentenced to 90 days of home detention and five years of probation and was ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution. He was indicted in 1995, along with another former Plano mayor and three others, on a series of federal bank fraud charges -- specifically, making a false entry in bank books and aiding and abetting criminals.
McCall has had serious health problems, and his rapidly deteriorating condition was a factor in the timing of the pardon, a Justice Department official said Monday. His wife told Reuters news service that McCall had cancer and had slipped into a coma Thursday.
The pardon came five days after Plano, a Dallas suburb, honored the former mayor and dedicated a plaza in his honor.
McCall, who was an elementary school principal early in his career, served as mayor from 1956 to 1960. During that time, he was named Plano's Man of the Year and served as president of the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Rep. Ralph M. Hall (R-Texas) provided character testimonials for McCall's pardon application, the Justice Department said.
Bush has been more sparing in using his authority to grant pardons than his predecessor, Bill Clinton. On Dec. 23, 2002, Bush pardoned seven men convicted of minor offenses, such as a mail theft of $10.90.
In the waning days of his presidency, Clinton pardoned 176 offenders. One of those pardons, for fugitive commodities financier Marc Rich, was controversial because Rich's former wife had contributed about $1.4 million to Democrats, including $450,000 to Clinton's presidential library foundation.