FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Longtime Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida has died after a two-year fight with pancreatic cancer. He was 84.
The Palm Beach County Democrat died Tuesday, according to his chief of staff, Lale M. Morrison. Hastings had been a reliably liberal voice on Capitol Hill since he first won his seat in 1992, becoming an outspoken advocate for minorities, gays, immigrants and the elderly.
But for just as long, he was dogged by ethics questions, stemming from his impeachment from a federal judgeship prior to his election.
Hastings was acquitted of charges that he solicited a bribe from two convicts seeking to shorten their sentences. The House impeached him anyway and the Senate convicted him, but in 1992, he won a seat in Congress, taking his oath before the same body that had impeached him.
The case remained a nagging footnote throughout his career, and was seen as derailing his ambitions for a greater leadership role in the Democratic Party.