On October 10, 1973, Spiro Agnew became the second Vice President to resign the office. Unlike John C. Calhoun, who resigned to take a seat in the Senate, Agnew resigned and then pleaded no contest to criminal charges of tax evasion, part of a negotiated resolution to a scheme wherein he was accused of accepting $29,500 in bribes during his tenure as governor of Maryland. Agnew was fined $10,000 and put on three years' probation. The $10,000 fine only covered the taxes and interest due on what was "unreported income" from 1967. The plea bargain was later mocked as the "greatest deal since the Lord spared Isaac on the mountaintop", by former Maryland Attorney General Stephen Sachs. Students of Professor John F. Banzhaf III from the George Washington University Law School, collectively known as Banzhaf's Bandits, found four residents of the state of Maryland willing to put their names on a case and sought to have Agnew repay the state $268,482 - the amount it was said he had taken in bribes. After two appeals by Agnew, he finally resigned himself to the matter and a check for $268,482 was turned over to Maryland state Treasurer William James in early 1983.
As a result of his no contest plea, Agnew was later disbarred by the State of Maryland. As in most jurisdictions, Maryland lawyers are automatically disbarred after being convicted of a felony, and a no contest plea exposes the defendant to the same penalties as a guilty plea.
His resignation triggered the first use of the 25th Amendment, as the vacancy prompted the appointment and confirmation of Gerald Ford, the House Minority Leader, as his successor. It remains one of only two times that the amendment has been employed to fill a Vice Presidential vacancy. The second time was when Ford, after becoming President upon Nixon's resignation, chose Nelson Rockefeller (originally Agnew's mentor in the moderate wing of the Republican Party) to succeed him as Vice President.
Agnew’s official portrait was removed from the Maryland State House Governor’s Reception Room from 1979 until 1995.