Former U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. has been known by many titles: quarterback, sheriff, congressman, convicted felon, painter, poet and farmer.
And when he's released from federal prison in Minnesota on Wednesday, the rebel lawmaker known for his 1970s-style suits and one-liners like ''Beam me up'' on the congressional floor can add another to the already long list: free man.
It's unknown what time Traficant will be released from the bars of the Federal Medical Center, where he's served part of his eight years following the 2002 conviction on racketeering and bribery charges.
Tribune Chronicle file
A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons said the former congressman could leave anytime Wednesday with whatever property he had when he entered the prison system, as well as any money he earned or cash his family sent for commissary during his time inside.
Traficant, 68, will be on probation for three years after his release.
Traficant did not respond to a request by the Tribune Chronicle for an interview.
Can Traficant run for office again?
The answer to that is yes. Constitutionally, he's not prohibited from holding a federal office again. The only qualifications to run for Congress are a person must be a U.S. citizen, at least 25 years old and living in the state in which he/she is running.
Now, winning election and avoiding being expelled are two different things. Congress would have to seat Traficant, but could expel the him again. He was removed after his criminal trial by a 420-1 vote.
And can he vote?
Again, the answer is yes.
Jeff Ortega, spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, said once released, to vote again, all Traficant has to do is reregister. Incarcerated felons are prohibited from voting.
Traficant was convicted in 2002 of charges that included racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and tax evasion following a 10-week trial in Cleveland.
The jury believed that he took kickbacks from high-level staffers, used other staff members as farmhands on work time and accepted cash gifts and services from businessmen. He later was removed from the U.S. House of Representatives by a 420-1 vote.
Traficant claimed he was innocent and a target of the government, claims he made even during his sentencing, before he was cuffed and led away to the Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex in White Deer, Pa., where he spent the first part of nearly a decade in prison.
His wife, Tish Traficant, said she doesn't know what's in store after Wednesday.
''I have no idea,'' she said Friday. ''Whatever he wants to do. We haven't discussed anything like that.''
Constitutionally, he's not prohibited from holding a federal office again. But one of his friends says he should avoid a life in politics, one of his friends says.
Dominic Marchese said his talents are better suited for the radio, where as a talk show host, he could reach large groups of people.
''The last thing I would ever want him to do was monkey with politics,'' Marchese said.
Marchese and Traficant first met in the early 1980s when Traficant visited Marchese's Johnston farm to attend a party for former congressman Dennis Eckart. Later, Marchese said he and his wife, Diana, who served as an aide to Eckart, visited Traficant while attending Eckart's swearing in ceremony.
Farming is what launched their friendship, Marchese said.
''He would hunt here and we would travel different places hunting and became very close,'' Marchese said. Traficant helped paint the interior of their home, he said.
''He maybe an artist today, but he's a good house painter,'' Marchese said.
Later, Marchese worked for Traficant in his Niles office on agricultural and environmental issues.
Marchese said that during Traficant's incarceration, the two exchanged letters and Traficant sent him some of his original artwork.
Linda Kovachik, a former Traficant aide and one of the planners for his welcome home party, said Traficant's going to need to work. She's not entirely ruling out a life in politics.
''I think he should stop and smell the roses and see all the opportunities he has in front of him,'' Kovachik said.
Federal court records show that in April 2008, Traficant owed $103,783 of the $150,000 fine he was ordered to pay as part of his sentence. Nearly $12,000 is interest.
There was a battle early last year over whether Traficant's pension could be tapped to pay for court fines. Federal prosecutors argued the money was available, but state attorneys said the money was exempt from garnishment.
Records show that Traficant's Ohio Public Employees Retirement System gross retirement benefit is $1,037 a month and his current net monthly retirement benefit is $997.
The court has ruled that Traficant's pension is available to be garnished and ordered OPERS pay $250 a month to the government, a ruling states. Court records also show a garnishment for the Wright Patman Congressional Federal Credit Union.