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Convicted Abscam Congressman Released to Halfway House

September 5, 1986

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Former Rep. Richard Kelly has been transferred from federal prison to a halfway house to finish his sentence in the Abscam bribery case.

Kelly, who began serving a 6-to-18-month sentence on Nov. 1, 1985, was released from the Federal Corrections Institute at Eglin Air Force Base on Tuesday, according to Mike Cooksey, prison superintendent.

Cooksey said Kelly probably would spend about 90 days at the Goodwill Suncoast Rehabilitation Center in St. Petersburg.

Kelly, 62, contacted the center on Wednesday and started indoctrination on Thursday, said Ken Clanton, vice president of community relations. He will spends days working and nights at the center, but no program had been worked out.

Kelly was among seven members of Congress accused in 1980 of accepting money from FBI agents posing as Arab shieks seeking favors from Congress.

During his 1981 trial, Kelly, a three-term Republican from Central Florida, was shown on videotape stuffing $25,000 in $100 bills into his pockets.

Kelly said he was conducting his own investigation when he accepted the money.

Although he has virtually completed his sentence, he is still appealing his conviction.

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