Mel Reynolds has been arrested in Zimbabwe. He has been living there since November, apparently without filing the correct immigration paperwork. In those four months, Reynolds has rung up a $25,000 unpaid hotel bill.
Reuters also mentions that he was found to possess pornography, which is a crime in Zimbabwe. The report does not specify what kind of pornography we are talking about. A few dog-eared Playboys, for example, would hardly shock most of Reynolds' erstwhile constituents.
But we don't think that's it.
Reynolds was, again per Reuters, "a rising star in the Democratic Party" until
... he was forced to resign in 1995 after being convicted of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography.Ah. Now we get it.
Yesterday, we'd never heard of Congressman Reynolds, perhaps for the good reason that he only served one two-year term, in the early 90s. He has spent more time in prison than he ever did in Congress, first following a conviction for statutory rape and then following a separate conviction for bank fraud.
Ick. Just ... ick.
It almost seems cruel to add that, in 2004, Reynolds attempted to regain his seat, the Illinois 2nd, and was crushed by the incumbent -- Jesse Jackson, Jr. When you can't beat Jesse Jr., it's time to get out of the game.
Anyway, we point out Rep. Reynolds' problems only to observe that there is somebody, somewhere, who has less integrity than we ourselves. Small victories, people.