- Last night ABC premiered its new dramatic series, <strong><em>Scandal</em></strong>, which stars <strong>Kerry Washington</strong> as crisis management specialist Olivia Pope. The character is based on the career of real-life lawyer <strong>Judy Smith</strong>. The former deputy press secretary for President <strong>George H. W. Bush</strong> and author of <strong><em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Good-Self-Bad-Transforming-Qualities/dp/1451649991/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333740793&sr=8-1" target="_blank">Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Best Assets</a></em></strong> now heads her own DC-based crisis management and public relations firm, <strong>Smith and Company</strong>. As the go-to woman for high profile celebrity/political scandal, Smith has had a hand in making big problems go away. Here are a few of her most notable cases.
- <strong>Idaho Sen. Larry Craig’s Solicitation Scandal</strong><br><br>
In 2007, Sen. Craig was arrested in a police sting operation at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport after he solicited an undercover officer in a bathroom stall. Although Craig claimed he was innocent of the charges and not gay, he later filed a guilty plea to a lesser charge. When news broke, three men came out to report sexual misconduct by Craig. By the fall, Craig announced his resignation and pushed to have his guilty plea withdrawn. Craig later retracted his resignation and finished his term in office in January 2009.
Former Senator Larry Craig, center (Image: Getty)
- <strong>The Chandra Levy Murder Scandal</strong><br><br>
Chandra Levy was an intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, D.C., who disappeared in May 2001. Her body was found a year later in Rock Creek Park. The press speculated that Levy was involved in an extramarital affair with then-U.S. Rep. Gary Condit, who denied any involvement in the intern’s death and was never formally charged with a crime. Seven years later, investigators discovered evidence that led to the arrest of Ingmar Guandique, who was found guilty and sentenced to 60 years.
Chandra Levy's mother, Judy Levy (right) [Image: Getty]
- <strong>Michael Vick Dog-Fighting Scandal</strong><br><br>
In 2007, police discovered evidence of illegal dog fighting taking place at the home of NFL star Michael Vick. With signs of possible animal abuse and illicit gambling, a federal investigation was opened that led to the indictment of Vick on felony charges related to Bad Newz Kennels. As a result, Vick was sentenced to 23 months. Upon his release, Vick worked to revitalize his name and career, eventually signing with the Philadelphia Eagles for a one-year deal. Last year, he re-signed a multimillion-dollar, multi-year contract and is once again a franchise player.
- <strong>Mayor Marion Barry’s Crack Scandal</strong><br><br>
In 1990, then-Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was arrested in a police sting at a local hotel for possession and use of crack cocaine. The disgraced politician was charged with three felony counts of perjury, 10 counts of misdemeanor drug possession, and one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to posses. The criminal trial ended with one conviction, one acquittal and the jury deadlocked on the remaining charges. In the wake of the controversy, Barry opted not to campaign for re-election and served a six-month sentence. Surprisingly, Barry re-emerged on the political landscape several years later and actually won a fourth mayoral term, serving the people of D.C. from 1995-1999.