Page 10-Saturday, February 9, 1980-The Michigan Daily
ABSCAM SCANDAL ONLY FIRST OF MANY
FBI seeks crooked politicians
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal and
local law enforcement officials are
conducting scores of undercover in-
vestigations across the country - 70 by
the FBI alone - and some are expected
to implicate public 'officials in
It was one such operation that
produced bribery allegations against
eight members of Congress this week.
The Justice Department says the first
indictments in those cases are expected
in 90 days.
Government officials said yesterday
that federal agents are involved in 110.
undercover investigations aimed at
breaking up criminal conspiracies,
which often involve large-scale theft
and fencing of everything from credit
cards to securities to refrigerators.
BESIDES THE 70 undercover in-
vestigations it is conducting on its own,
the FBI is participating with the Law
Enforcement Assistance Ad-
ministration (LEAA) in about 15
others, said the officials.
Irvine Nathan, a deputy assistant at-
torney general, described in general
terms how the FBI has changed its
focus to big-time crooks, white collar
crime, and political corruption.
He said the FBI sometimes finds
crooked politicians as a byproduct of
"IN UNDERCOVER operations that
focus on organized crime, from time to
time the trails do lead to politicians,"
he said. "When it does, we continue to
One of the eight members of Congress
implicated in the FBI's bribery in-
vestigation, Sen. Harrison Williams Jr.,
(D-N.J.), was reported yesterday to
have tried to arrange a $100 million loan
from undercover agents to finance an
Atlantic City gambling casino.
Newsday, quoting unidentified sour-
ces close to the inquiry, said Williams
sought the money to finance the Ritz-
Carlton casino, involving a company
with which Williams' wife is associated.
THE LONG Island newspaper, in a
copyright story, said Williams assured
the agents there would be no problem
getting a gambling license from the
state if the loan were granted. On Thur-
sday, FBI agents interviewed Joseph
Lordi, chairman of the New Jersey
Casino Control Commission, and other
Williams and Lordi have denied any
The other seven legislators im-
plicated in the case are Reps. Michael
Myers, (D-Pa.); Raymond Lederer,
(D-Pa.); John Jenrette, (D-S.C.);
Frank Thompson Jr., (D-N.J.); John
Murphy, (D-N.Y.); Richard Kelly, (R-
Fla.); and John Murtha, (D-Pa.)
THE FBI'S bribery investigation
began 16 months ago as a "sting"
operation against peddlers of stolen art
and government securities and even-
tually implicated 20 public officials and
10 businessmen through use of agents
posing as representatives of wealthy
Arab investors and offering bribes in
exchange for political favors.
Some implicated in the case have
charged entrapment, and some critics
of the operation agree with them. En-
trapment occurs when an investigator
persuades someone to commit a crime
the person otherwise would not have
If a person can prove he was entrap-
ped, prosecutors lose their case in
AS A RESULT, Nathan said, the FBI
takes great pains to make sure it does
not entrap those whom it is in-
"You do it by the training of agents,
by being certain what is being said," he
said, adding, "It isn't foolproof or iron-
Sources who have viewed videotapes
of members of Congress taking payoffs
in the "Arab scam" operation said they
are confident the politicians were not
LEAA and other federal and local in-
vestigators are conducting an ad-
ditional 25 undercover operations with
no FBI involvement.
The LEAA grants also have led to
development of increasingly
sophisticated undercover methods.
James Golden, director of LEAA's
criminal conspiracies division, said a
key element is the use of videotape to
record illegal transactions.
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UNITED AUTO WORKERS Vice-President Irving Bluestone spoke yes-
terday to an audience of about 60 people at the University's Insitute for
Social Research. Bluestone advocated the institution of "Quality of Work-.
ing Life Programs" to improve working conditions and product quality.
says workers should
help make decisions
By JULIE SELBST
Improving working conditions and
increasing product quality can make
both workers and management hap-
pier - and both can be achieved by
enacting "Quality of Working Life"
(QWL) programs, UAW Vice-
President Irving Bluestone said
yesterday at an informal gathering
at the University's Institute for
Social Research (ISR).
The QWL programs, Bluestone
told his audience of approximately
60 persons, emphasize the impor-
tance of worker involvement in
production decisions: Where
programs have been instituted, ab-
senteeism has dropped sharply,
waste has been drastically reduced,
and conditions in general have im-
proved, Bluestone said.
The key, Bluestone stressed, was
greater respect between workers
"IN AN industrial system like
ours," Bluestone said, "workers are
order-takers and employers are or-
der-givers. It boils down to a system
in which a person who is hired into a
plant is hired for everything below
Bluestone is a General Motors
representative to the United Auto
Workers union, has spent seven
years designing programs to-involve
workers in the essential decisions af-
fecting the quality of the work place.
Bluestone cited ways in which
employees are deliberately made to
consider themselves second-class
citizens in the shops. He said th
very idea that employees have to
punch time clocks assumes that they
are not responsible to arrive and
depart work on time.
IN ADDITION, Bluestone said,
once the worker is at work he is or-
dered about all day, and is subject to
shop rules, violation of which can
provoke disciplinary action.
It is not very far removed from the
treatment workers received in
Henry Ford's day, Bluestone claims.
Back then, employees who took in
male boarders were dismissed, the
assumption being that something
was not right if the employee's wife
was home alone all day with a man,
Ford also used to send 'social
workers" on rounds to inspect em-
ployees' houses, to check whether
they had gardens, whether the em-
ployee complained about work, and
a host of other things, Blueston
"The concept 'We pay you and as
long as you are working for us you
will do as we tell you'," still needs to
be changed, Bluestone said.