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May 25, 1979 - Image 3

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-05-25

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, May 25, 1979-Page 3

Bert Lance pleads
innocent to 22 counts
offinancial corruption

ATLANTA (AP) - Bert Lance,
President Carter's close friend and
onetime adviser, pleaded innocent
yesterday to charges he misused the
funds of two Georgia banks. He called
the accusations "totally ridiculous."
The former federal-budget director
and three northwest Georgia associates
entered innocent pleas at an arraign-
ment before U.S. Magistrate Allen
Chancey Jr. '
Their trial is likely to last at least
eight weeks, prosecutor William Gaf-
fney said. Chancey assigned the case to
Judge Charles Moye. No trial date has
been set, but it could come as early as
August.
LANCE, WHO was federal budget
director for nine months in 1977, had no
comment on the specific charges in the
71-page, 33-count indictment handed
down Wednesday.
"I find it to be totally ridiculous," he
said as he left the courthouse. "I am not
going to comment until I read the indic-
tment."
Pressed by a crowd of reporters and
photographers spilling onto a downtown
street, Lance warned:
"Y'ALL BE careful. I don't want any
of you to get run over. I want this same
crowd around when I'm found in-
nocent."
The indictment alleges a pattern of
loose credit, unsecured loans and
falsified bank records for the benefit of
Lance, his family and friends, building
to a total of 383 loans from 41 banks
totalling $20 million.
Lance was charged in 22 counts, in-
cluding conspiracy, misusing bank fun-
ds, falsifying personal financial
statements and making false entries in
bank records. If convicted and given
the maximum penalty on each count, he
could be imprisoned for 95 years and
rtoday

fined$115,000.
LANCE AND HIS attorneys arrived
early for the arraignment and shook
hands with the Justice Department
lawyers who for more than a year have
been probing into Lance's practices
while president of the Calhoun First
National Bank in Calhoun, Ga., and the
National Bank of Georgia in Atlanta.
The other three defendants, Thomas
Mitchell of Dalton, Ga.; H. jackson
Mullins of Calhoun, Ga., and Richard
Carr of Ringgold, Ga., also pleaded in-
nocent.
Carr, a former bank president now
represented by a public defender,
refused to make any comment on the
case.
MITCHELL AND Mullins, both
represented by Thomas Mitchell's
cousin, Erwin Mitchell, each said they
believed they had done nothing illegal.
"Apparently my crime is being frien-
ds with Bert Lance," Mullins said after
the arraignment.
Thomas Mitchell, who controlled
Lance's holdings while Lance was
budget director, said of the indictment,
"They've alleged a lot of things that
aren't true."
ASKED IF HE was apprehensive
about the trial, Mitchell said, "I have
looked forward for many, many months
to the date we could have a trial, rather
than a continuing investigation."
The grand jury charged that the con-
spiracy began in 1970, when Lance was
a little-known small-town bank
president and continued through his
rise to prominence as Carter's closest
friend and adviser.
The "overt acts" listed in the indic-
tment extend well past September 1977,
when Lance resigned his budget post
after several months of mounting con-
troversy about his finances.

AP Photo
FORMER FEDERAL budget director Bert Lance tells reporters he is innocent
in his home at Calhoun, Ga., yesterday. Earlier in the day, a federal grand jury
indicted him for misusing bank funds and misleading bank regulators.

Meak vs. mighty
A classic confrontation between the meak and the
mighty yesterday afternoon proved that in a clash
between drivers, the one in the bigger vehicle is
always right. Yesterday's test of wills began when a
former University. student driving a Volkswagon
Scirrocco down Tappan Street met with a Univer-
sity Commuter bus turning right onto Tappan from
South University Ave. According to the Volkswagon
driver, he stopped about 20 feet from the bus when
he saw it coming, giving the driver plenty of room to
back out and make another turn. But the bus kept
rolling until it was about four feet from the
Volkswagon. Both refused to back up and the two
sat for over 20 minutes until the bus driver called a
campus security officer, who in turn summoned a
city police officer. Although the officer explained
that the bus couldn't back out onto a busy street, the
Volkswagon driver stuck to his guns, saying "I like
to be courteous, but when someone takes advan-
tage of me, I say the hell with it." The ordeal ended
when the police officer forcefully removed him
from the car and back it into a nearby parking
space.
Perhaps Plato?
So-called "sex guru" Larry Levenson, who owns

Plato's Retreat, a private sex cub in Manhattan,
Wednesday would not confirm whether he plans to
bring a similar establishment to Ann Arbor. Leven-
son did, however, announce on WXYZ-TV'sKelly &
Company that he has found a location in the greater
Detroit area for a midwestern branch. He told the
Detroit Free Press "hostile community groups" in
Ann - Arbor might prevent the liberal club from
locating in the city. He also said the building would
be in a business district, would be open only at
night, and would contain private rooms, a
whirlpool, a swimming pool, movie rooms, and a
"mat room," which could hold more than one per-
son. Maybe the city should have sold the old fire
station to Levenson for a small fortune.
Clarification
Several points in yesterday's article on Hesse
Nasir's speech in the Michigan Union Wednesday
night were unclear. Nasir is the exiled president of
Bir Zeit University, an Arabic school in the oc-
cupied West Bank.
Happenings ...
.... kick off at 1:30 p.m. in the International Cen-

ter Recreation Room, where Prof. Teshone Wagaw
of the School of Education and the Center for Afro-
American and African Studies will discuss "Lear-
ning for Development in Africa: Crisis and In-
novation" . . . open auditions and a crew infor-
mational meeting for Bertolt Brecht's play, "Pun-
tila and Matti, His Hired Man," will le held in the
Residential College Auditorium in East Quad at 4
p.m.... starting at 7 p.m. and ending at 11 p.m.,
WICN-AM 650 and WCBN-FM 88.3 are sponsoring a
Memorial Day Weekend dance in the Liberty
Plaza . . . at 7:30 p.m., Project Voyager--To the
Giant Planets will be shown and Jim Loudon will
discuss "Voyager Report I: Jupiter" in Aud. 3,
MLB.. . senior dance students again will present a
dance concert at 8 p.m. in the Dance Building, 1310
N. University Ave.... it's the astronomy depar-
tments' Visitor's night and Robert Fessen will talk
about "Colors in the Night Sky" and the film Space
Navigation will be presented at 8:30 in Aud. B,
Angell Hall.
On the outside
Someone should copyright this weather so it can't
be reproduced without special permission. It'll be
cloudy again, and it'll probably rain. The high tem-
perature will be around 60', the low around 40.

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