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Nicholas James Mavroules

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 6th district
In office
Preceded by Michael J. Harrington
Succeeded by Peter Torkildsen

Born November 1, 1929(1929-11-01)
Peabody, Massachusetts
Died December 25, 2003 (aged 74)
Salem, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary (Silva) Mavroules
Religion Greek Orthodox

Nicholas James Mavroules (November 1, 1929 – December 25, 2003) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts. He was born in Peabody, Massachusetts, November 1, 1929; and graduated from Peabody High School. Nicholas was employed by GTE-Sylvania from 1949 to 1967, and served as supervisor of personnel. He was then elected a city councilor in Peabody, Massachusetts, from 1958 to 1965. Mavroules was elected mayor of Peabody in 1966 and served from 1967 to 1978. He was a delegate to the 1976 Democratic National Convention. Nicholas Mavroules was elected to the United States House of Representatives from the 6th Congressional District of Massachusetts as a Democrat and served there from January 3, 1979, to January 3, 1993. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1992, losing to Peter Torkildsen. He served on the House Armed Services Committee.

He travelled to many places as a Congressman:

  • 1981: Visit with U.S. forces in Germany.
  • 1982: Northern Ireland.
  • 1983: Two trips to Beirut, Lebanon. The first to spend July 4 with the troops; the second to lead an Armed Services Committee investigative team after 283 U.S. Marines were killed in a terrorist bombing during a peacekeeping mission at the Beirut International Airport. In the Committee's final report of December 1983, he would write, "A war of terrorism has begun and is likely to continue for the foreseeable future."
  • 1985: A session with U.S. negotiators in Geneva — center of talks with the Soviet Union on nuclear weapons. He met with President Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office after this trip.
  • 1986: San Salvador, El Salvador. A meeting with the Jesuit's at the University of Central America — priests would later be assassinated in their rectory.
  • 1987: Baghdad, Iraq; Kuwait City; Taif, Saudi Arabia: An inspection delegation to review the security of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war. Most notable was a vigorous session in Baghdad with the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Tariq Aziz, on Iraq's use of chemical weapons in its war with Iran.
  • 1988: As an emissary of the U.S. State Department, he engaged in a private dialogue with Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, providing a framework that produced the current U.S.-Greece agreement on military bases.
  • 1989: Appointment to the House Select Committee on Intelligence, performing oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency and other elements of the intelligence community. His input: to require that intelligence be accessible to the U.S. forces deployed and at risk.

During this time, he was also engaged in the legislative work on national security that included:

  • The 1986 Defense Reorganization — the Goldwater-Nichols Act — that fundamentally restructured military command and control — so that troops serving in high-threat combat and peacekeeping missions — would have a responsive and dynamic military chain of command.
  • Implementation of the Packard Commission recommendations to reform Pentagon acquisition practices.
  • Legislation that limited the deployment of nuclear ballistic missiles, and ensuring that missile defense technology be treaty-compliant.
  • Funding for the Navy's F-18 fighter, powered by GE engines from Lynn, Massachusetts. Twenty years later the F-18 remains as the backbone of Naval Aviation;
  • The Small Disadvantaged Business Act that allowed more American citizens to compete in government contracting.

Mavroules served as chairman of the House subcommittee on investigations, helped expose major cost overruns on Navy aircraft and shed light on the deadly 1989 explosion on the USS Iowa. He was also instrumental in making certain that the crew of the USS Pueblo obtained P.O.W. status.

Mavroules was voted out of office in 1992, the year he was indicted on seventeen counts of corruption amid a federal investigation into alleged misuse of his office for private gain. Allegations included extortion, accepting illegal gifts and failing to report them on congressional disclosure and income tax forms.

Mavroules pleaded guilty to fifteen counts in April 1993 and was sentenced to a fifteen-month prison term.

At his sentencing, he told the judge: "I certainly apologize to my family and they have endured enormous, enormous pain. I apologize to my friends who have been loyal, strong, very steadfast. I totally accept responsibility for my actions."

He died on December 25, 2003, in Salem, Massachusetts, and was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Peabody, Massachusetts. Over 6,000 people attended his wake and funeral which was held at St. Vasilios Church Greek Orthodox church in Peabody. Several members of Congress (former and current) attended the services.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Michael J. Harrington
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 6th congressional district

January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1993
Succeeded by
Peter Torkildsen


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