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City Councilman Angel Rodriguez was one of Brooklyn's most promising politicians and a contender for City Council speaker, until 2002, when an undercover cop caught him attempting to trade a $50,000 bribe and a $1.5 million real estate discount in exchange for a positive vote on a planned Fairway supermarket location in Red Hook.
Rodriguez initially stayed on the Council and fought the charges, but eventually plead guilty and was sentenced in June 2003 to more than four years in prison. With time off for good behavior and alcohol treatment, he was released to a halfway house in June 2006, and has since been laying low with his family in Sunset Park.
"I'm trying not to be a public person anymore," he told the Daily News in a short 2007 interview. "I just want to live a regular life, try to contribute. I'm trying to stay out of the public eye."
So, you may not feel great about civic responsibility, but hasn't it been sort of fun to reminisce? No? Well, what can we say, this kind of thing has been happening since politics were invented. If you really need some cheering up though, try checking out New York's handy new system for online voter registration. See, it's not all bad out there!
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.