Who was R.Budd Dwyer?

Robert "Budd" Dwyer (November 21, 1939 – January 22, 1987) was an American politician from the state of Pennsylvania. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate representing the state's 50th district, and he served from 1981 until 1987 as Treasurer of Pennsylvania.

In the early 1980s, it had been discovered that Pennsylvanian government workers had overpaid federal taxes, and many accounting firms competed for a multimillion-dollar contract to calculate the amount to be repaid to each employee. A Pennsylvania native, John Torquato, owned one such firm, Computer Technology Associates. Torquato used his local connections and a series of bribes to obtain the contract worth a reputed $4.6 million.

After an investigation by the United States Attorney, Dwyer was charged with and indicted for receiving a kickback of $300,000 in return for using his influence and office to steer the contract toward CTA. The US Attorney also indicted Torquato, Torquato's attorney William Smith, and former state Republican Party Chairman Robert Asher. In return for lighter penalties, Torquato and the Smith pleaded guilty and testified on behalf of the government against Dwyer.

Dwyer was found guilty of receiving the bribe in December 1986. He continued to profess his innocence vehemently, as did others who were close to him. On January 22, 1987, the day before his sentencing, Dwyer called a press conference to "provide an update on the situation." At the conference, an agitated and nervous Dwyer once again professed his innocence, and declared that he would not resign as state treasurer. Dwyer then withdrew a .357 Magnum revolver from a manila envelope, put the gun barrel into his mouth and shot himself.


The Filmmakers

James Dirschberger - Director/Producer

James Dirschberger is originally from Buffalo, NY, a few short hours north of Budd Dwyer’s hometown of Meadville. Dirschberger moved to San Francisco in 2002 to pursue filmmaking. Since then, he has teamed up with numerous Bay Area artists to create successful collaborative animations, music videos, short films and documentaries, eventually making a move to Los Angeles in early 2011. His films have screened around the world and have accumulated millions of views online. He is currently developing an animated series for television. HONEST MAN is his first feature film, developed by his production company, Eighty Four Films.

Contact - Website

Matt Levie - Producer/Editor

Matt Levie has been a professional editor for almost twenty years. He has been lucky enough, in his career, to cut a wide variety of films, including feature films like "The Guatemala Incident" and "Sleep Furiously," and documentaries such as "97 Orchard Street" and "Curandero." He has taught editing at the Academy of Art University, Stanford University, the Bay Area Video Coalition and the University of California at Berkeley.

Mr. Levie has studied with Ralph Rosenblum (Woody Allen's first editor) at the Film and Television Workshops in Rockport, Maine, and holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research in New York.

Contact - Website