Former Rep. Charles C. Diggs Jr. (D-Mich.) has won a two-year legal effort to receive a Maryland mortician's license that had been barred to him because of a conviction in a congressional payroll kickback scheme.
Baltimore Circuit Judge Solomon Baylor ruled Wednesday that the 12-term former congressman should be granted the license he sought but had been denied by the state Board of Morticians.
Diggs, 60, currently a resident of the Fort Washington area of Prince George's County, said yesterday that the judge's ruling was "the end of a long road."
He said the license will be restored Monday, and by the end of the year he expects to open two funeral homes in north and south areas of the county inside the Capital Beltway.
Previously, he had won a ruling from Judge Baylor that he should be granted an apprentice funeral director's license that had been refused.
Diggs, whose father and namesake operated the House of Diggs funeral home chain in Detroit, was convicted in 1978 on 29 counts of mail fraud and filing false pay vouchers. He later became the second congressman in this century to be censured for misconduct. He did not seek reelection in 1980.
He served 10 months in federal prison. His parole expired last Saturday.