James A. Traficant, the Ohio Democrat who was expelled from Congress after being found guilty of bribery and racketeering, walked out of prison in Minnesota on Wednesday after serving seven years behind bars.
Traficant, 68, an eccentric former sheriff, did not answer reporters' questions as he left the prison alone and rode away in a taxi. He wore a T-shirt, shorts and knee-high white socks and carried some of his belongings in a plastic bag. Famous for his unruly toupee that was piled impossibly high on his head -- he said he needed "a weed whacker" to trim it -- Traficant left prison with a gray receding hairline.
Linda Kovachik, a close friend who has kept in touch with him, said Traficant was planning some quiet time before deciding what he might do next. Many of his supporters say they hope he becomes a radio talk-show personality.
On Sunday, 1,000 of his supporters are planning a welcome-home dinner in Youngstown, Ohio. He still has strong support in the area that nine times elected him to Congress. Hundreds of people have bought "Welcome Home Jimbo" T-shirts.