BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -Former NFL lineman Jerry Fowler died Monday of complications from surgery. He was 68.
Fowler played in four games for the Houston Oilers in 1964 before moving on to politics. A former Louisiana elections commissioner, Fowler served four years in prison earlier this decade for taking kickbacks on voting machine contracts.
``He had surgery Friday night, and he was recuperating from that surgery and operation, and I don't know, but he just had heart failure, and he died suddenly,'' said James A. Wayne Sr., executive director of a nonprofit indigent defense firm in Baton Rouge and a longtime Fowler family friend.
Wayne wouldn't say what type of surgery Fowler had.
Fowler held the elections commissioner post for two decades, from 1980 to 2000. He was defeated for re-election following his indictment in a kickback scheme that led to a more than four-year federal prison sentence.
Fowler pleaded guilty in November 2000 to scheming the state out of $900,000 between 1991 and 1999 for rigging voting machine contracts, but he was believed to have made roughly $3 million on the kickbacks. He was released from prison in 2005.

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