WASHINGTON - U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania has offered to resign after he was found guilty of a number of charges, including fraud and bribery, by a federal jury.
Fattah was convicted of involvement in a racketeering scheme in which he used federal grants and non-profit funds to pay a $1 million campaign loan.
In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Fattah offered to resign effective October 3. His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for October.
But Ryan called on Fattah to leave office immediately. Ryan said Fattah had "betrayed the trust of this institution and the people of Pennsylvania," and that he hoped Democratic leaders would join him in calling for Fattah's immediate resignation.
Regardless, Fattah's time in Congress is limited because he lost his seat in the April Democratic primary.
According to evidence presented during the trial, Fattah borrowed $1 million for his failed campaign for mayor of Philadelphia, and used $600,000 from Education Advancement Alliance, a non-profit he created himself, to repay the loan. Along with other defendants involved in the scheme, Fattah created sham contracts and made false entries in the non-profit's accounting records to conceal the scheme.
Additionally, Fattah, 59, used funds from congressional campaigns to repay his son's student loan debt.
His son is already serving a five-year term for fraud.