Former Michigan congressman Charles C. Diggs Jr. was arrested early yesterday on a drunk driving charge in Prince George's County, five days after he had pleaded guilty to an alcohol-related driving charge in a District court.
Diggs, 63, was charged with driving while intoxicated after county police were called to investigate an accident about 2 a.m. in the 4200 block of Lyons Street in Temple Hills, a police spokesman said.
Diggs was driving a 1984 Cadillac Seville south on Lyons when his car struck a tow truck parked on the right side of the roadway, police spokesman Bruce Gentile said. The tow truck hit the rear of another parked truck; no one was inside either of the trucks, he said.
Diggs was taken to Southern Maryland Hospital Center, where he was treated for minor facial injuries and released, Gentile said.
Gentile said the charge of driving while intoxicated carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine, one year in jail and revocation of the driver's license. Diggs would not discuss the accident yesterday.
Last Friday, Diggs pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court to driving while impaired by alcohol. Diggs was given a 30-day suspended sentence, fined $150 and placed on one year's probation in connection with the charge, placed after he was involved in an accident Dec. 17.
Diggs, a Democrat from Detroit, was the senior black member of Congress when he retired in 1980 after his conviction on charges of mail fraud and filing false pay vouchers.
Diggs had been charged with inflating the salaries of five staff members and using the additional money to help pay his office expenses and personal debts. Diggs later served seven months of a three-year sentence in a federal prison.
Diggs was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1954. He founded the Congressional Black Caucus, and served as chairman of the House District of Columbia Committee and the Foreign Affairs African subcommittee. Diggs, a Temple Hills resident, now works as a mortician in Prince George's County.