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May 14, 1974 - Image 1

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-05-14

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Mi ichkigan , Daily
Volume LXXXIV, No. 5-S Ann Arbor, Michigan-Tuesday, May 14, 1974 Ten Cents Sixteen Pages
Ouncil votes in $18




Approved following lengthy debate

Dily Photo by TOM GOTTLIEB
City Administrator Sylvester Murray looks through the proposed 1975 budget at last
night's CityCouncil meeting.
Supreme Court dsmisss
federal wiretap evidence

After a marthon debating ses-
sion, City Council early this morn-
ing approved an $18.0 million fiscal
1975 municipal budget which will
go into effect July 1.
The very tight budget was ap-
proved by an 8-3 vote as the Re-
publicans along w i t h Democrats
Carol Jones (D-Second Ward) and
J a m e s Kenworthy (D - Fourth
Ward) voted in favor of the docu-
CLEARLY ALL three parties had dis-
agreements with the budget as designed
by the city administration. "All of us
have our sacred cows and all of them
have been hit hard in the city budget,"
Councilman L o u i s Belcher (R-Fifth
Ward) said.
ALTHOUGH the $18 million budget
represents a record high amount, most
of the additional funds will be used to
offset the effects of the rapid inflation
rate during this year and to cover sal-
ary increases mandated under existing
employe contracts.
The division hardest hit in the 1975
city budget is Human Resources, which
encompasses drug treatment programs,
child and health care, and other related
Previously these operations received
a large financial boost from federal
Revenue Sharing dollars but in the up-
coming budget those monies have been
diverted to other projects.
THE PRIMARY cause of the austere
budget is a $600,000 appropriation to cut
the municipal debt which currently tops
$1 million. The state government ordered
the city last winter to eliminate the
debt within three years - fearing bud-
get problems had reached the crisis
During the present fiscal year - the
first in the debt reduction program -
over 170 city employes had to be laid off
to balance the budget and still include
funds for debt repayment.
The possibility of further lay-offs looms
in the distance if voters fail to pass an
emergency property tax increase that
appears on the June 10 school board elec-
tion ballot.
WITHOUT the additional monies raised
by the proposed one-time tax hike, the
city will not be able to balance the fiscal
1975 budget, according to Murray, there-
by necessitating further cut-backs which
would probably take the form of per-
sonnel reductions.
But none of the parties could muster
the necessary s e v e n votes to make
wholesale alterations in the document.
However, two relatively minor changes
were made as coalitions agreed to re-
allocate a total of $30,000 to re-establish
crossing guards near several scho-sls
and to make a grant to the Community
Grow program.

WASHINGTON (') - The Supreme
Court dealt a sharp setback to the Jus-
tice Department yesterday by invalidat-
ing a number of anticrime wiretaps be-
cause federal officials failed to follow the
proper procedure in applying for the
The decision invalidated federal crimi-
nal charges against 626 defendants, in-
cluding many prosecuted for alleged or-
ganized crime and narcotics offenses.
THE CASE which prompted the action
was filed by Dominic Giordano of Mary-
land, who was charged along with others
with federal narcotics offenses following
wiretaps authorized in 1970.
Giordano and other defendants filed
motions to suppress evidence gathered by
the wiretaps on grounds that the wire-
taps were legally defective.
The case turned on whether the Jus-
tice Department under former Atty. Gen.
John Mitchell followed the demands of
the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe

Streets Act in requesting wiretaps.
THE COURT held that Mitchell did not
follow the requirements of the act in a
series of wiretap requests that were
signed by his executive assistant Saul
Linderbaum. The law specifies that ei-
ther the attorney general himself or a
specially - designated assistant attorney
general approve wiretap requests.
The wiretaps requests in question are
made to federal judges, who must give
approval before the taps can be made.
Justice Byron White, writing for a
unanimous court, noted that the Nixon
administration insisted that it should
have wide latitude in delegating the
attorney general's authority to request
wiretaps because the federal law grants
wide latitude among state officials in
approving wiretap requests.
WHITE SAID, however, "it is apparent
that Congress desired to centralize and
limit this authority where it was feasible

to do so, a desire easily implemented in
the federal establishment by confining
the authority to approve wiretap appli-
cations to the attorney general of a
designated assistant attorney general.
"To us, it appears wholly at odds with
the scheme and the history of the act to
construe it to permit the attorney gener-
al to delegate this authority at will, whe-
ther it be to his executive assistant or
to any officer of the department other
than an assistant attorney general,"
White said.
In a companion case the court permit-
ted the government to preserve the evi-
dence gathered in a number of other
questioned wiretaps.
IN THIS CASE the issue was whether
the evidence should be suppressed be-
cause the applying officer in the federal
government was improperly identified.
The applications bore the name of the
assistant attorney general but had ac-
SSee SUPREME, Page 10

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