Former Secretary of Agriculture Alphonso Michael Espy was investigated for allegations originating in 1994 of possible violation of federal criminal law by accepting gifts from organizations or individuals with business pending before the US Department of Agriculture. In a final report released October 25, 2001 and now available online, investigators from the Office of Independent Council Donald Smalz state their conclusions that Secretary Espy had indeed committed improper behavior and that, "among other offenses, companies with financially important matters pending before USDA gave Secretary Espy -- either directly or via members of his family or his girlfriend -- numerous gifts in an effort to garner his favor." Tyson Foods, Inc., Crop Growers Corp., and Sun-Diamond Growers of California are among the six corporate entities convicted. The full report contains five large chapters, a conclusion, chronology, three appendices, and comment letters, including one from the attorneys of brother Henry Espy, Mayor of Clarksdale Mississippi.
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