EASTON, Md. (AP) _ Maryland's 1st Congressional District seat was a hotbed of scandal and tragedy for Democrats and Republicans before the apparent suicide of the top aide to Rep. Roy P. Dyson, the incumbent.

The problems date to the tenure of former Rep. Thomas Johnson, a two-term Democrat, who was defeated in 1962 after being indicted for accepting money from the Maryland savings and loan industry in exchange for his political influence. After a series of legal challenges, he went to prison in 1970.

Johnson's successor, Rogers C.B. Morton, who later became Republican national chairman, represented the sprawling Eastern Shore district for five terms before resigning to accept an appointment as President Richard M. Nixon's secretary of the interior.

William O. Mills, a Republican elected in a special 1971 election to fill the vacancy, shot himself to death in 1973 amid news accounts that he failed to report a $25,000 campaign contribution from the Committee to Reelect the President, an undisclosed fund of Nixon's re-election finance committee.

Newspaper reports at the time said Morton made an unusual personal appeal to then-Attorney General John Mitchell for money to help finance the congressional campaign of Morton's close friend Mills. But Mills' death and the deaths of three campaign managers in an automobile accident made it almost impossible to trace the cash contribution.

Robert E. Bauman, a leading conservative, was elected in 1973 to replace Mills. But he was defeated in 1980 by Dyson after being implicated in a sex scandal.

A charge that Bauman solicited sex from a 16-year-old male prostitute was dropped after Bauman agreed to be counseled for alchoholism. He later acknowledged his homosexuality, publishing an autobiography in 1986 that detailed his marriage, homosexual life and drinking problem. His marriage was annulled in 1982.