Among House Administration Committee Chairmen involved in scandals, Ohio leads New Jersey 2-1

Ohio’s Robert Ney becomes the third House Administration Chairman over the last thirty years to leave Congress after a scandal. Frank Thompson of Trenton was elected to Congress in 1954 (after serving as the Assembly Minority Leader) and became Chairman of the House Administration Committee in 1976. He was defeated for re-election in 1980 by Republican Christopher Smith after his indictment in the Abscam scandal. Thompson spent three years in a federal prison after his bribery conviction; Smith, who was a 27-year-old sacrificial lamb when the GOP picked him as their candidate in the Spring of 1980, is now in his 26th year as a Congressman. Thompson’s predecessor as head of the House Administration Committee was Wayne Hays, an Ohio Democrat who won national headlines when the Washington Post reported Hays put Elizabeth Ray on his congressional payroll so that she could serve as his mistress. “I can’t type. I can’t file. I can’t even answer the phone.'” Hays dropped his bid for re-election in 1976, but returned to public office in 1978 — winning a seat on the Ohio State House of Representatives. That comeback lasted only two years: he was defeated in his 1980 re-election bid — by Bob Ney.

Among House Administration Committee Chairmen involved in scandals, Ohio leads New Jersey 2-1