The U.S. Congressman Who Could Only Come Outside On Sundays
Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, who served from 1945-1971 as the House representative for Harlem, was notable for a few reasons. He was one of the first African Americans elected to Congress, he made great strides in the early quest for civil rights, and he ultimately proved as cocky and difficult to get rid of as the Caddyshack gopher.
A clip from his acceptance speech.
Powell was notoriously tardy with his taxes -- by which we mean that the federal government went after him for unpaid taxes starting in the early '50s. They upped their game in 1963, when Powell lost a slander lawsuit against an old lady he'd bafflingly accused of running bribes, and refused to pay that settlement as well. In 1965, a judge finally ordered Powell to be held in contempt, and issued an arrest warrant. But due to a rule in New York that warrants couldn't be served on Sundays, Powell simply went into hiding six days a week, only appearing in public on Sundays. A fed up House of Representatives eventually decided to kick his ass out, and a special election was held to replace him in Congress. After the votes were counted, the winner, by a whopping 86 percent, was ... Adam Clayton Powell.
Democracy having spoken loud and clear, Powell was readmitted to Congress. But instead of showing up to work, he threw up both middle fingers and moved to the Bahamas for the duration of his term, keeping his full salary while doing nothing but smoking cigars, gambling, and chilling with exotic dancers.
So the same perks of Congress, then.