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September 20, 1978 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-20

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GSA scandal intensifies

The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, September 20, 1978-Pa
MSA protests
s ele ti*o n p lan

WASHINGTON (AP) - The "ugly
and disgusting saga" of scandals at the
General Services Administration
unfolded further yesterday with
revelations of still more waste and
fraud in the agency's operations across
the country.
But efforts to clean up the GSA mess
also are moving forward, a Senate
subcommittee was told.
* Four new grand jury investigations
are under way, two in New York state
and one each in Newark, N.J., and
" Six other major cases involving
wrongdoing at the GSA' are about to be
turned over to the Justice Department
Too Late to Classify
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by agency investigators, GSA special
counsel Vincent Alto said. The
investigators also have cases ready for
U.S. attorneys in Dallas, Houston and
New Orleans.

Senate Governmental Affairs
Committee. Much of the testimony
dealt with office furniture supplied to
the government by Art Metal U.S.A. of
Newark, N. J.

. ... the uncovering of scandal stretching back many
years . . . may represent only the tip of a gigantic
iceberg yet to descend upon us.'
-GSA Administrator Jay Solomon

* Fifty GSA employees have been
disciplined in recent weeks, and a total
of 80 agency employees have been
" GSA Administrator Jay Solomon
says he has instituted 19 major policy
changes to help clean up the problems.
"The ugly and disgusting saga will
further unfold during the days ahead at
the GSA,2 Solomon said. "Day after
day, the uncovering of scandal
stretching back many years into GSA's
young life may represent only the tip of
a gigantic iceberg yet to descend upon
A litany of scandals and problems at
the agency was recited at the hearing
held by the subcommittee on federal
spending and open government of the

"WE HAVE had many complaints
about their products," said Howard
Davia, head of audits for the agency.
"They are frequently rusty, received in
damaged condition or in what is
generally described as shoddy
Davia told of a shipment of 33,000
supply cabinets from Art Metal.
"They required so much
maintenance to repair that it was not
considered feasible to use them," he
said, so GSA offered to give the $1.5
million worth of cabinets to any
government agency that wanted them.
HE ALSO said that Sears Roebuck &
Co. offers a lateral file cabinet for $155
while GSA charges government
agencies $193 for a similar file cabinet
made by Art Metal.

The "subcommittee called GSA
experts to testify that a recent
shipment of modern office chairs made
by Art Metal did not meet government
Philip Kurens, president of Art
Metal, denied there were any problems
with his company's products.
"WE HAVE shipped in excess of one
million pieces of office equipment to the
government. The rate of complaints
has been less than one-half of one per
cent of our shipments," Kurens said.
"We ask to be judged on the
facts . . . not by rumors, half-truths
and sensational stories in the media."
GSA head investigator William
Clinkscales told the subcommittee of a
$80,000 parking space.
HE SAID AN employee of the federal
Office of Education gave a credit card
good for use in GSA self-service stores
to a parking lot attendant in return for a
free parking space.
"Over a few months he had charged
$80,000 on the card," Clinkscales said.
The goods from the self-service stores
were then sold to a criminal fencing
The Office of Education employee
pleaded guilty and was given a
suspended sentence, Clinkscales said,
and soon thereafter was given a
promotion in her federal job. The
parking lothattendant has not been
prosecuted, he said.

Unsatisfied with proposals for
bringing student input into the selec-
tion process for a new University
president, members of the Michigan
Student Assembly (MSA) last night
took steps aimed at changing the
arrangments offered by the Regents
last week.
MSA appointed a five member ad-
hoc committee to discuss with the
Regents several possible options for
student input. The committee is to
report back to MSA at its meeting
next week.
THE REGENTS, who are the of-
ficial selection committee, have
sought the formation of student,
faculty and alumni committees. Ac-
cording to the Regents' plans, the
three committees would submit
names of potential candidates to
University Vice-President Richard
Kennedy who would then compile
biographical information and return
the information to all three commit-
tees. The origin of the suggestions
would be kept confidential, accor-
ding to MSA President Eric Arnson.
The three committees would then
submit their final recommendation

to the Regents, who will make t
final choice. The Regents are n
bound to restrict their considerMe
of candidats to any of the reco
mended lists.
Many MSA members express
concern that any student efforts
this type would be in vain. "T
University tends to use (student
committees like this to legitimiz
their decisions" without actuall
relying on the input, said long-tim
MSA member Irving Freeman.
ARNSON, WHO will chair the a
hoc committee, said he hopes th
members will be able to meet wit
several regents this week to discus
alternative proposals. Any officia
action by the Regents would tak
place at next inonth's meeting at th
earliest. "We want to give them (th
Regents) ample time to considr it,'
said Arnson.
a Several MSA members suggeste
a boycott of all MSA participation i
the selection process might be ap
propriate if the assembly can't get a
more acceptable arrangement.
Membes of the ad hoc committee
are MSA representatives Howard
Epstein, Cathy Pattinson, Mervat
Hatem, Doug Steinberg, Julie
Greene and Eric Arnson.

Jordan, Saudi A

7 m


(Continued from Page 1)'
their feuds and to take a "collective
Arab stand to achieve the Arab nation's
higher goals."
SAUDI ARABIA, a major financial
backer of both Egypt and opponents of
Sadat, has maintained neutrality in in-
ter-Arab feuds following the Egyptian
leader's"visit to Jerusalem last Novem-
An American official, who declined to
be identified, said he was not too
discouraged by the Jordanian reaction.
"They haven't completely repudiated
the accords," he said. "I still think they
want to hear what we have to say."
JORDAN WILL be Vance's first stop
in the Middle East.
As expected, the Syrian reaction to
the accords was much harsher. Prime
Minister Mohammed Aly Halahi said,
"Sadat has stripped himself of all Arab
Meanwhile, sources in Jerusalem say
that Begin appears to have solid sup-
port in Parliament for the agreements
he signed with Sadao but reportedly he
is in so much trQuble with his own party
that he could be forced to resign.
TWO OF BEGIN'S 18 Cabinet

ministers are likely to quit if the two
documents negotiated at the Camp
David Middle East summit are ratified
by the Knesset, or Parliament.
Even if Begin were to quit as head of
the right-of-center Herut Party, the
arithmetic of announced support by
other parties virtually assures backing
of the accords by the 120-member
The Knesset is to vote within two
weeks on the documents and whether to
accede to Sadat's condition that the 20
civilian settlements in the Sinai be
evacuated. The Camp David
agreements return the Sinai to Egyp-
tian sovreignty. They leave the status
of the settlements on the West Bank of
the Jordan River open to negotiation.
UNTIL THE ultimate status of the
West Bank is decided, Begin agreed not
to allow any more settlements there.
Late yesterday, the government or-
dered a group of settlers who had
established a new West Bank set-
tlement earlier in the day to dismantle

rabia question
About 20 families had moved into a soon will come to perceive it."
area south of Nahlus before dawn. The CHURCH SAID Sadat expresses
move was sponsored by the ultra- hope that "King Hussein will pla
nationalist Gush Emunim-Bloc of the role that must be played in Jordani
Faithful. The group said it plans 10 such issue of the West Bank is ever 1
new West Bank settlements to demon- resolved."
strate opposition to abandoning or Later, leaving a meeting with B
dismantling existing settlements. members, Sadat said he had no
Begin and Sadat spent yesterday mediate plans to. meet with S:
morning on Capitol Hill at separate, President Hafez Assad. But he c
private meetings with members of the Assad's agreement to talk with V
House and Senate. "a positive move from his side."
OUT OF THOSE meetings came fur- Asked what he would do if Jon
ther signs of the basic disagreement on Hussein rejects the agreements, S
the touchy question of Israeli set- said "let us not hurt King Husseir
tlements in the Sinai and on the West prejuding his reaction.
Bank of the Jordan River. ACROSS THE Capitol, Begin
Sadat voiced concern for the recep- House members that "I believe wi
tion the Camp David agreements will my heart that the Jewish people h
receive in other Arab countries. right to sovereignty over Ju
Following Sadat's closed meeting Samaria and the Gaza Strip."
with the Senate Foreign Relations prime minister used the biblical nJ
Committee, Sen. Frank Church (D- for the lands on the West Bank o
Idaho), quoted the Egyptian president Jordan River.
as saying that "if the Arab countries do The Camp David accords call
not immediately perceive the great replacement of Israel's mtlitary gt
stride forward that has been made they nment on the West Bank with

autonomous regime elected by
he predominantly Palestinian populat4
he The new government would adm''
;he the area for five years during whiff
be future status would be negotiated by
interested parties.

Entertainment by the Famed

Campus LegalAid
gives students advice,


114 E.

(Continued from Page 1)
legislation by drafting proposals, but
that it would respect the prohibition
against lobbying.
The Union-based lawyers have
broken new ground with "do-it-
yourself" divorce proceedings and,
more recently, shoplifting defense.
Rose said that they realized a few years.,
ago that lawyers were wasting a great
deal of time in court waiting to recite a
paragraph or two during the divorce
Rose said that the new shoplifting sel-
defense has been running smoothly. Of
five students who had their day in court
recently, four were able to convince the
judge or jury that they had not been
guilty of shoplifting.
Nine presidents of the United States
were slave-owners: George
Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James
Madison, Andrew Jackson, Zachary
Taylor, John Tyler, James Polk, An-
drew Johnson and Ulysses Grant.

"IF THE PERSON tries his own
case, he is being listened to all day by
the jury or judge - it takes between a
half a day to a day to try one of these -
and if he is telling the truth, that 'likely
story' becomes. more believable
because he's up there talking the whole
Rose said that while Legal Aid
lawyers "have a good working
relationship" with the five circuit
court, three district court, one probate
court and one juvenile court judges in
the area, many of the cases can be
settled before reaching the bar through
letter-writing or threats of a suit.
Within a month, Rose anticipates the
appointment of a permanent board of
trustees for the legal aid group.
Presently, Eric Arnson, MSA
president, Thomas Easthope of the
Office of Student Services (OSS) and
Rose make up a temporary board. OSS,
MSA and Legal Aid will all have a say
in who willsit on the mostly student
board, according to Rose.



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Jonathan Rose Daily Photo by ALAN BILINSIC

C E 3idCiIga Efail

Sept. 20


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