Who is Budd Dwyer’s
Budd Dwyer was an American politician who served as the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 1981 until his death in 1987. He was born on November 21, 1939, in St. Charles, Missouri, and grew up in a small town in Kansas. Dwyer was a member of the Republican Party and was known for his advocacy of fiscal responsibility and efficiency in government.
However, in 1986, he was indicted on charges of receiving a bribe, conspiracy, and mail fraud related to a contract for a computerized tax collection system in Pennsylvania.
On January 22, 1987, the day before he was scheduled to be sentenced, Dwyer called a press conference at which he maintained his innocence and handed out copies of a statement he had prepared. In front of a live television audience, he then shocked the nation by pulling out a .357 Magnum revolver and shooting himself in the head. He died instantly, and the footage of his suicide was broadcast on news stations across the country.
The circumstances surrounding Dwyer’s suicide remain controversial, with some suggesting that he may have been innocent of the charges against him and others questioning whether his death was an act of desperation or a deliberate attempt to draw attention to the flaws in the American justice system. Regardless of the interpretation, Dwyer’s suicide remains a tragic event in American political history.
Budd Dwyer’s Political Career
Budd Dwyer began his political career in the late 1960s when he was elected to the school board in the suburb of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. He went on to serve in various positions in the Pennsylvania Republican Party, including as a member of the Republican State Committee and as the chairman of the Allegheny County Republican Party.
In 1970, Dwyer ran for and won a seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where he served for ten years. During his time in the House, he earned a reputation as a fiscal conservative and advocated for balanced budgets, lower taxes, and reduced government spending. In 1980, he ran for and won the office of Pennsylvania State Treasurer, a position he held until his death in 1987.
As Treasurer, Dwyer continued his efforts to promote fiscal responsibility and transparency in government. He implemented a new computerized accounting system that improved the efficiency and accuracy of financial transactions in the state government. He also advocated for the creation of a state lottery to help fund education in Pennsylvania, which was eventually established during his tenure as Treasurer.
Dwyer’s political career came to an abrupt and tragic end when he was indicted on charges of bribery and corruption related to a contract for the computerized accounting system he had implemented. The charges were controversial and contested by Dwyer and his supporters, who maintained his innocence until his death.
The Bribery Scandal
The bribery scandal that led to Budd Dwyer’s indictment and subsequent suicide was related to a contract for a computerized accounting system that Dwyer had implemented in the Pennsylvania state government. In 1984, Dwyer awarded the contract to a California-based company called Computer Technology Associates (CTA), which had submitted the lowest bid.
However, in 1985, rumors began to circulate that Budd Dwyer and other state officials had received kickbacks from CTA in exchange for awarding the contract. An investigation was launched, and Dwyer was indicted in 1986 on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, and receiving a bribe.
The case against Dwyer was largely based on the testimony of a former CTA employee named William T. Smith, who had turned state’s witness in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Smith testified that he had arranged for a $300,000 bribe to be paid to Dwyer in exchange for the contract, and that Dwyer had received the money in cash and used it to buy a beach house in Florida.
Dwyer maintained his innocence throughout the trial, arguing that he had done nothing wrong and that the charges against him were politically motivated. However, he was convicted in December 1986 and faced up to 55 years in prison and a $300,000 fine.
On January 22, 1987, the day before he was scheduled to be sentenced, Dwyer called a press conference at which he continued to protest his innocence. He then shocked the nation by pulling out a .357 Magnum revolver and shooting himself in the head, ending his life in front of a live television audience.
Bribery Dwyer’s Suicide On Live Television
Budd Dwyer’s suicide on live television was a shocking and tragic event that stunned the nation. The incident occurred on January 22, 1987, at a press conference that Budd Dwyer had called to make a final statement before his sentencing on charges related to a bribery scandal.
In front of a room full of reporters and a live television audience, Budd Dwyer maintained his innocence and handed out copies of a prepared statement. He then suddenly pulled out a .357 Magnum revolver and placed it in his mouth. After a few moments of hesitation, he pulled the trigger, and the gunshot echoed through the room. Dwyer fell to the ground, and the room erupted in chaos.
The footage of Dwyer’s suicide was broadcast on news stations across the country, causing widespread shock and outrage. Many viewers were traumatized by the graphic and sudden nature of the event, and some criticized the media for airing the footage.
The circumstances surrounding Dwyer’s suicide remain controversial to this day. Some have suggested that he may have been innocent of the charges against him and that his suicide was a final act of protest against a corrupt justice system. Others argue that he was guilty and that his suicide was an attempt to escape punishment for his crimes.
Regardless of the interpretation, Budd Dwyer’s suicide on live television remains a tragic and disturbing event in American political history.