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July 11, 1974 - Image 1

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-07-11

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Michigan Daily
Vol. LXXXIV, No. 38-S Ann Arbor, Michigan-Thursday, July 11, 1974 Ten Cents Twelve Pages
Sen. Gurney indicted
for perjury, bribery
Charged with accepting kickbacks

ward Gurney (R-Fla.) was indicted by a
federal grand jury yesterday on bribery,
conspiracy and perjury charges. He was
accused of taking part in a- scheme to
collect $233,000 in kickbacks from hous-
ing contractors.
He was the first sitting U.S. senator
to be indicted in 50 years.
SIX OTHER persons were indicated on
conspiracy charges along with the 60-
year-old Gurney, a member of the
Senate Watergate Committee and a can-
didate for re-election.
Gurney issued a statement in Wash-
ington saying, "I maintain my absolute
innocence of any wrongdoing. I have
an abiding faith in the American- system
of justice and firmly believe that I will
be proved innocent of any wrongdoing.
I have an abiding faith in the American
system of justice and firmly believe that
I will be proved innocent of any wrong-
doing in this affair."
The indictment, handed down here and
announced by the Justice Department in
Washington, said that the charges stem-
med from an effort to raise funds in
exchange for influencing the use of
government housing and mortage money.
The senator also was accused of par-
ticipating in covering up the scheme,
defrauding the government and lying to
the grand jury,
THE SECRETARY of the Senate said
the last sitting senator to be indicted
was Burton Wheeler of Montana, who
was accused of influence-peddling with
the Interior Department in 1924.
Indicted with Gurney were his former
administrative assistant, James Groot
of Washington; Joseph Bastien, the for-
mer head of Gurney's Winter Park, Fla.,
field office; two Florida Republican
party officials and two officials in the
Florida offices of the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development.
Forty-two other persons were named
as unindicted co-conspirators.
GURNEY IS charged with one count
of conspiracy, one count of bribery, one
count of receiving unlawful compensation
and four counts of making false declara-
tions to a grand jury. If convicted on all
counts, he faces a maximum 42 years in
The indictment listed 115 overt acts as
part of the conspiracy and said $233,160
was paid by the unindicted coconspira-
tors either to a Gurney aide or to organ-
izations linked to the senator...
The scheme allegedly was hatched at
a January 1971 meeting at Gurney's
home in Winter Park. At that meeting,
the indictment said, Gurney, Groot, Bas-
tien and the two Florida. party officials,
Earl Crittenden and George Anderson,
discussed a fundraising operation and
decided to hire Larry Williams to carry
it out. S
See SEN., Page- 8

If he kissed you once.. .
will he kiss you again?
Audrey Johnson learns the hard way what happens when you ask a leopard to kiss you. Johnson and her 4-month-old leop-
ard cub, Bwana, are part of the Diamond Rodeo and Wild West Show which was appearing in Atlantic City, N.J.
Chpaquiddick memory
lingers on in Edgartown

EDGARTON, Mass. WA) - Five years
ago, a handful of officials in a peaceful
resort town became national celebri-
ties when a young woman died in a car
driven by Sen. Edward Kennedy.
Debate continues over the accident at
Dike Bridge on .Chappaquiddick Island.
The argument centers on what the acci-
dent means for Kennedy's political fu-
As of press time last night nego-
tiations were still continuing be-
tween city officials and representa-
tives of American Federation of
State, County and Municipal Em-
ployes Local 369 in a last minute
attempt to avoid a strike by city

THE PROSECUTORS, police, witness-
es and other participants who have slip-
ped back into obscurity say the July 18,
1969 accident in which Mary Jo Kope-
chine died still affects them, too.
These people still bristle over the
glaring attentioi given the easy-going
pattern of small town justice in the days
after the accident. They fear that it will
begin again if Kennedy runs for presi-
"You're always aware of it," said Les-
lie Leland, a druggist who was foreman
of the grand jury that investigated the
"WHEN KENNEDY announces he's
running for office, this thing is going to
be opened up all over again." he went
on. "They're going to tear it to pieces,
word by word. I don't look forward to
that. It will go on and on and on."

A grand jury later looked into the
case briefly, but it reached no conclu-
sions, and there was no other court ac-
The police chief who charged Ken-
nedy with leaving the scene of an ac-
cident, the part-time prosecutor who won
a conviction, the district attorney who
initiated an inquest - all say the son-
sational case played a part in determin-
ing their futures.
Accordinig to Kennedy's testimony,
the car plunged off the bridge into a
tidal pool. Kennedy escaped, but Kope-
chne did not. The senator said he dived
unsuccessfully to try to save her, then
walked back to the cottage and got two
friends who also tried to recover Kope-
By that time, the ferry had stopped
running, and Kennedy swam across Ed-
gartown Harbor to the inn where he was

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