Local Politics

Rally honors former congressman convicted of corruption

Posted July 12, 2009

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— Supporters of a former U.S. Congressman held a rally honoring him in Northampton County Saturday, less than a month after he finished a prison term for federal corruption charges.

The fourth annual "People's Freedom Rally," held in Garysburg, paid tribute to Frank Ballance's commitment to community service.

Ex-lawmaker, convicted of corruption, honored at rally Ex-lawmaker, convicted of corruption, honored at rally

Supporters of the former Democratic lawmaker from Warrenton have held the rally annually since 2005, when he began serving a 4-year sentence for using a nonprofit to divert taxpayer money to his family. The first rally raised money to help pay his legal bills.

Ballance plead guilty in 2004 but has since maintained his innocence and claimed he was unfairly targeted by federal prosecutors. They threatened to prosecute his 86-year-old mother and upgrade charges against his son to a felony, he said.

"I didn't get a fair trial," Ballance told WRAL in his first interview since his release. He said that politics and race were factors in the case.

Frank Ballance Ballance discusses case, life after prison

Prosecutors said Ballance funneled $2.3 million from the Hyman Foundation – a drug treatment center – including $100,000 for his legal bills, a Lincoln Navigator for his son, computer services his daughter didn't perform and $143,250 for his mother to pay for community programs.

Ballance said his future plans include using his money to create a foundation to help people recently released from prison – and he didn't rule out running for Congress again.

"I know I can run for Congress. I'm not sure if I can run for school board," he said. "You have to run for what you can run for. I'm not picking on anybody. All of our Congressmen are good. I like them all."

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  • Here kitty kitty Jul 13, 2009

    Notice he said this time he wants to use "his money" to start something new...does that sound a bit funny to anyone else? Who's did he use before? Helloooo we know the answer to that one.

  • whatusay Jul 13, 2009

    Gosh...what a country. A person can be convicted, spend time in prison, become wealthy from his crimes, and still run for public office and start all over again. Only in America.

  • wcumom Jul 13, 2009

    Did they bang the pot and pans too?

  • lkanzig Jul 13, 2009

    imagine that... a crooked politician in nc!
    and they are holding a rally?
    what is wrong with them??
    and this crook might run for office again?
    put him back behind bars and have the rest of them join him!

  • roaddog3 Jul 13, 2009

    What i want to know is Who let this Crook out, He might be fooling some people but not me.

  • doubletrouble Jul 13, 2009

    The Hyman Foundation, was long known to be a scam via people in the local area, it was always noted in our local newspaper weekly and crys for Ballance to be investigated. Eventually, something was done and am sure the Feds did their homework, since the suspect was a minority in power and knew the politics of bringing such to light. He pleaded guilty, not because he was innocent, but because he, and his son could recieve a lighter sentence in a "Camp Cupcake" enviroment instead of being thrown in some of the harsher Federal Pens, which would have been the case in a jury trial. The Feds had him, and he knew it. Now he is playing on the "race card" to try to get support from people who think this type of mentality is OK to begin with. Birds of a feather, flock together. He, nor his son should be allowed to hold any office that requires the public's trust, he had it once, and broke that oath.

  • ghimmy51 Jul 13, 2009

    This is a convicted criminal who abused his position of trust to steal from the people he was serving. Unless those rallying for him know him personally I can only assume they are supporting him only because of his skin color. That, my friends is racism. There is no place for it no matter where it comes from. I am SO tired of encountering people who say *I* am a racist whenever they don't like my decision on the job. I never get that from a white guy I have to say "no" to. Why is that?

  • Professor Jul 13, 2009

    No wonder their kids have no respect for what is right or wrong.

    Absolutely right on this one. This man should not have been honored. The people that needs to be honored, never see it. But when they die, someone else is hearing all about it. Society can do better.

  • delilahk2000 Jul 13, 2009

    No wonder their kids have no respect for what is right or wrong. Grown people are honoring a man who disgraced the office he held and stole from it, but that is ok because I am a bl@ck person, i was done wrong. NO, YOU STOLE AND SHOULD STILL BE IN JAIL AND ALSO NEVER HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE AGAIN. THESE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT YOU MUST THINK THINK BREAKING THE LAW IS OK AS LONG AS IT GOES TO THEM. YOU ARE A CROOK PLAIN AND SIMPLE. MR. BLACK DOES NOT DESERVE ANY SPECIAL TREATMENT EITHER AND HE IS WHITE AND STILL A CROOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • gammasandi Jul 13, 2009

    there is no honor in being a criminal-let's go back to square ond and teach these folks the Ten Commandments-and Frank should quietly go home with his tail tucked between his legs!

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