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January 10, 1984 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-01-10

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 10, 1984 - Page 5
Lavelle sentenced to six
months in prison, fined

WASHINGTON - A federal judge
yesterday sentenced fired EPA official
r Rita Lavelle to six months in prison and
a $10,000 fine, 'saying her perjured
testimony to Congress violates "the
t very core" of public trust in gover-
nment.
But Lavelle called her prosecution
''an unbelievable nightmare" and
vowed to appeal her conviction on four
counts of perjury, filing a false sworn
statement and obstructing a
congressional investigation into the
Superfund toxic waste cleanup
program.
Under the sentence imposed by U.S.
District Judge Norma Johnson,
Lavelle, 36, must serve at least five
months before becoming eligible for
parole. Following the jail term she will
have a five-year probationary term,
during which she must perform
charitable community service for little
or no pay.
Johnson rejected a defense request
that Lavelle be spared prison time and
instead by allowed to teach or perform
other volunteer work for Catholic
Charities in her home state of Califor-
nia.
4 Appealing the conviction will delay
imposition of the sentence for at least
several months, during which she will
AP Photo be free without bail.
'Former Environmental Protection Agency official Rita Lavelle and her attorney James Vierbower meet reporters out- Eleven months after President
Mside U.S. District Court yesterday after she was sentenced to six months injail and fined for lying to Congress. Reagan fired her from the Environ-

mental Protection Agency, Lavelle is
the first high-level official of his ad-
ministration sentenced to prison for
commiting a felony while in office.
"You indeed violated the public
trust," Johnson said in announcing the
sentence. "The perjury offense strikes
at the very core of the trust that had
been conferred to you."
The judge also scolded Lavelle for
still insisting that her lies under oath to
two congressional panels was merely a
mistake, saying, "You can't admit to
yourself the injury you caused the
federal government.. . the injury to all
of us citizens."
The judge said Lavelle had "refused
to set the record straight" even though
she knew that her contentions about her
former employer, Aerojet-General
Corp., were false.
Lavelle had sworn under oath to two
Angressional committees last
February that she had not known until
June 17, 1982, that Aerojet had dumped
wastes at the Stringfellow Acid Pits in
California.
The government charged that
Lavelle was told on May 28, 1982, about
Aerojet's involvement at Stringfellow
and left a trail of lies to cover up efforts
she made to ingratiate herself with
Aerojet so that she could land a high-
paying job there once she left the EPA.
Lavelle was convicted on four counts
of lying about the date in testimony

before two congressional committees;
one count of lying in a sworn statement.
and one count of trying to obstruct a
congressional investigation by sending
the statement to Congress.

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Parks, Blanchard honor King at Capitol

LANSING (UPI) - The great martyr
oA the civil rights movement was
honored yesterday in ceremonies at the
Capitol attended by a woman con-
sidered by some to be the mother of that
movement.
Rosa Parks of Detroit - whose
irusal to give up her seat touched off
the famous Montgomery, Ala. bus
bdycott in the 1950s - joined Gov.
James Blanchard, state Sen. Jackie
Vaughn (D-Detroit), and other
dignitaries in the Capitol rotunda for a
noontime celebration in honor of
Martin Luther King, Jr.
THE CEREMONY marked King's;
55th birthday and the 16th anniversary

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of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center
for Nonviolent Social Change.
It also was dubbed a ceremonial tree
planting - although the tree itself ac-
tually was placed in the Capitol's south
lawn last fall.
Blanchard said the life of King
demonstrates that "the power of justice
and truth lives on and transcends mere
mortals."
PARKS told the crowd that King
"would be happy to be in our midst
today."
"I was a troubled woman when I first
met him," she recalled, thinking back
to the days of the boycott.
King's teachings "did bring about a

change in my thinking about people,
racism and humanity," she said.
SHE said she remembers "how
eloquent and dedicated he was to the
betterment of mankind."
Parks said it was her first visit to the
Capitol in the 27 years she has lived in
Michigan.
The crowd also heard from two young
honor students from Benton Harbor.
"He was a peaceful warrior," said
Kirsten Enders, a fourth grader.
Music was provided by the Salt and
Pepper choir of Ottawa Hills High
School.
The program closed when the
speakers and members of the audience

joined hands and sang with the choir
the civil rights anthem "We Shall Over-
come."
This spring, a plaque will be placed
on the tree planted in King's memory.
A Department of Natural Resources
official said the sugar maple likely will
continue through the year 3000 bearing
witness to King's life.

Weary Jackson woos Detroit minorities

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i I - I I

(Continued from Page 1)
because web's lazy," he said. "We work
the hardest, and the longest, on the last
Of the jobs, doing the most menial
dhores. We're not lazy," Jackson told
the predominantly black crowd.
JACKSON called for stronger gover-
nment education programs, saying,
"Nobody should want to go to college in
America and .be turned away because
they don't have the money."
He also pushed the idea that
minorities are capable of leading the
nation.
"Hispanics were running nations
before America was a nation," he said.
"Can a handicapped person run this
nation? When Hoover ran it down, it
was Roosevelt in a wheelchair - a han-
dicapped man - who brought it out."
JACKSON has made a major effort to
bring minority and labor groups into his

campaign by forming a "rainbow
coalition" of various organizations;
representatives of many such groups'
were on hand Sunday to show their sup-
port.
The candidate also was welcomed by
city officials and state legislators who
praised his diplomatic efforts in the
Middle East.
Conspicuously absent from the rally,
was Detroit Mayor Coleman Young,
who is supporting former vice president
Walter Mondale's candidacy. During a
press conference before his speech,
Jackson played down the importance of
losing Young's endorsement, saying
that he had talked to the mayor and
"We have more in common than in con-
flict."
IN INTRODUCING Jackson,
however, Minister Louis Farrakhan
said Young's and other black leaders'

endorsement of Mondale would hurt
Jackson's campaign seriously.
Jackson's campaign has propelled
him into a tie for third place among
eight men seeking the Democratic
nomination. And he said he is pleased
with the success. "Mondale's been run-
ning for six years. I've been running
two months. I'm running number
three, and I'm impressed," he said.
Although many observers, including
Rev. Jerry Falwell, have predicted that
Jackson will be offered a vice presiden-
tial bid after the Democrats pick their
candidate next July, Jackson said it
was too early to discuss that possibility.
"One doesn't run for the vice presiden-
cy," he said. "One runs for the
presidency."
"Mondale has done a good job at
(being vice president)," he added,
"and maybe he should extend his reign.

I

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