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Daily Journal Gazette Newspaper Archives Jul 13 1974, Page 1

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Daily Journal Gazette (Newspaper) - July 13, 1974, Mattoon, Illinois Inmates of Cellblock released14 freed from courthouse convicts hold seven Washington a two armed convicts renewed their efforts today to barter seven hostages in the . District courthouse for Freedom but Justice department officials said they released 14 inmates in detention cells As an act of Good Faith. One woman inmate remained in the Cellblock officials said. There was no immediate explanation. The prisoners in Handcuffs were loaded into two White . Marshals vans two sedans and a station Wagon and driven away from the courthouse at 8 35 Arn. Behind a group of police motor scooters with sirens blaring. Chief . District judge George l. Hart who is responsible for the building looked on along with Deputy . Atty. Gen. Laurence Silberman who helped negotiate the release. Justice department officials said the inmates who had not joined the rebellion but had never been labelled hostages by the convicts were taken to the d c. Jail do. General Hospital and two other jails. There was no indication however that any had been harmed. The inmates had been caught in the Cellblock when the two convicts took Over about 2 . Thursday. The Promise of their release had come before Dawn Twiny in negotiations after the two had rejected the governments offer to Transfer the pair to a Penitentiary in Oklahoma. The Justice department said it had no explanation for the number of inmates released and its earlier reports that a dozen inmates were being held. Authorities still made no move to give the two men the plane ride out of the country that they had demanded since taking control of a basement Cellblock about 2 . Thursday. The convicts Frank Gorham 25, and Robert Jones 24, who also uses the name Otis d. Wilkerson had never described the inmates of the detention cells As hostages. Gorham and Jones had threatened late Friday to behead a hostage with an a unless the government became More responsive to their demands. They also threatened to kill the hostages if police stormed the Cellblock in the basement of the courthouse where the watergate grand jury investigation of and trials have been held. . Marshalls said no hostages have been harmed. The convicts staged the takeover when one pulled a concealed gun while the two were being taken into the basement of the historic watergate courthouse. It has not been Learned How one of the two men obtained the firearm. The pair obtained More pistols and ammunition from a weapons locker in the Cellblock area. A your lines of communication with the inmates Are still open and we remain hopeful a said Justice department spokesman Mattoon Robert Stevenson. He said the convicts had rejected several proposals but declined to elaborate on any of them. Jim Vance a local newsmen with the National broadcasting co. Who was sitting in on the negotiations at the convicts request said Jones agreed to one government proposal but that Gorham rejected it after speaking with his family by Telephone. The proposal called for release of the hostages unharmed in return for Transfer of the two men to the Federal Penitentiary at Al Reno okla. An eighth hostage was freed by the pair before Dawn Friday after chief . District judge George l. Hart and marshals opened negotiations by Telephone. The basement Cellblock is equipped with closed circuit television with which Gorham and Jones can watch All approaches. Hundreds of heavily armed police and marshals ringed the courthouse. All but two floors of the building were sealed off. The two captors permitted relatives of the hostages to speak with them by Telephone Friday afternoon. Journal 120th year 149 12 pages saturday july 13, 1974 15 cents phone 235-5656 found guilty in plumbers plot Ehrlichman convicted scholarship awarded a Marlene Muessman of Rural Charleston has been awarded the 1974 Mattoon memorial Hospital auxiliary scholarship. She is a 1974 graduate of Mattoon High school and has entered the lutheran Hospital school of nursing in St. Louis mo., in the three year program. The daughter of or. And mrs. Raymond Muessman Marlene has served As a Volunteer in the Junior auxiliary for three years and was recently awarded second Gold Star Given to Honor service hours in the Hospital. Pictured from left Are mrs. Lera Kolbus a member of the scholarship committee miss Muessman and mrs. Barbara Brogan president of the Hospital auxiliary. Mrs. Mabel Hardinger is chairman of the scholarship committee. Nixon not involved watergate Prober quizzed Washington apr asst. Atty. Gen. Henry Petersen who was in charge of the original watergate investigation has told the House impeachment inquiry he has never received any information involving president Nixon in a cover up. Petersen who testified before the House judiciary committee on Friday was described by some Republican members As the most favourable witness for Nixon the committee has heard in its impeachment inquiry. Rep. Charles Sandman r-n.j., said he asked Petersen whether he had Ever received any information up to the present moment indicating Nixon was involved in covering up the watergate scandal. A the said clearly a not a Sandman told newsmen after Petersen a closed door testimony. I the boost Given to Nixon a i As the presidents welfare is impeachment defense by Peter sends testimony was offset in rep. Hamilton fish r-n.y., j the View of some members by a Republican who is considered the conviction of former White a possible vote for impeach House aide John Ehrlichman on ment said he thought an a j counts of perjury and con quintal for Ehrlichman a would piracy in connection with the have been a setback for the burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg a psychiatrist. But Nixon a lawyer James the operation of the special d. St. Clair disagreed. A i just White House investigating unit Learned of the verdict a he told known As the plumbers which newsmen As he emerged from conducted the break in is one a committee session. A i done to of the subjects under invest believe it has any effect on Tion in the impeachment in-1 these proc?edings.�?� Quiry. Rep. Robert Mcclory r ill., Petersen a statement that Nixon was not involved in a said Ehrlichmann a conviction cover up was received with a does no to help. The fact some scepticism by rep. George one so close to the president was convicted in a watergate related matter that is also the subject of our inquiry is going to have an Adverse effect As far watergate committee ends business report due today Ash i no ton of the ate watergate committee is i ally out of business its a Well marked by a vol Nous report and some is of admonition from Irman Sam j. Ervin or. The lust for political Power the presidential aides who nitrated watergate on Erica blinded them to the of god As Well As to the 5 and ethics of the in North Carolina demo told newsmen Friday Side the Channan whose by manner and Sharp Par were witnessed by millions americans during weeks of used hearings last year the panels final report. In document encompassing r pages in three volumes is g publicly released late tote it. The committee is rec lending new Laws to regu the conduct of political pains but Ervin said Athing More was needed to ent future watergate. Mien All is said and done a Aid a the Only sure antidote an understanding of Funda Tal principles and Tactual and moral integrity1 he men and women who be or Are entrusted with a mental or political pow-1 Vin and three other com j get members Sens Low-1 Weicker Conn. Joseph Lento a. Dnm., and Dan Louved Hawaii a spoke porters at the final com Danielson a Calif. A there is a lot of information Petersen did no to receive a said Danielson. A the Wasny to privy to everything the president knew Only what the president told members said one of the Points Petersen was questioned at length about was his furnishing of information about the watergate investigation to Nixon which Nixon passed on to Ehrlichman and . Halde Man Nixon s former chief of staff. Both men allegedly were implicated in the affair according to the information. Petersen reportedly said he saw nothing improper in giving such information to the president or in Nixon a passing it on to Haldeman and Ehrlichman. The committee has Only two More witnesses to hear before j concluding its inquiry a former j White House aide Charles w. Colson on monday and Herbert w. Kalmbach Nixon a former personal lawyer on tuesday. J 7 o Day s journal classified la comics 12 editorial 4 entertainment 9 obituaries 5 sports 6 women s by Mike Shanahan Washington a John d. Ehrlichman once described by president Nixon As one of the finest Public servants he Ever knew has been convicted of plotting an illegal search at the office of Daniel Ellsberg a psychiatrist. After a 12-Day trial a Federal court jury took five hours Friday to find Ehrlichman guilty of the conspiracy charge and of lying to the Fri and a watergate grand jury about the sept. 3, 1971 break in by the White House investigative unit known As the plumbers. Within minutes of the verdict Ehrlichman said his lawyers would Appeal the Case. Three other defendants were also found guilty of conspiring to violate the constitutional rights of the psychiatrist or. Lewis j. Fielding of Beverly Hills Calif. Until he resigned april 30, 1973. The 49-year-old Ehrlichman was among the closest of Nixon a assistants. The former White House Domestic affairs chief now is subject to a maximum jail sentence of 25 years and fines of up to $40,000. . District judge Gerhard a. Be sell set sentencing for july 31. Until then the defendants remain free. In a the other defendants g. Gordon Liddy and Miami ans Bernard l. Barker and Eugenio r. Martinez could receive maximum sentences of to years in jail and fines of $10,000. Those three were convicted last year in connection with the 1972 break in at democratic party Headquarters in the watergate Complex Here. A member of the jury who asked not to be identified said i there was some heated discussion at first about Ehrlichman but then the jurors began a review of a series of White House memos included in the trial evidence which helped Settle the Issue for them. Associate special watergate prosecutor William h. Merrill had built much Ai his Case on the memos in Wimch Ehrlichman gave his approval to a Covert examination of Ellsberg a psychiatric records. On an aug. La 1971 memo Ehrlichman had written beneath his initials instructions on How the operation should be carried out. A if done under your Assurance that it is not traceable a Ehrlichman wrote to two White House aides. Ehrlichman testified he had nothing illegal in mind in fact never considered what the plumbers specifically planned in proposing the operation. The jury member said once a review of the White House memos was Complete and they were in turn compared with testimony of the 25 witnesses in the trial it took Only one vote to find Ehrlichman guilty of the conspiracy charge. A second informal poll was taken later to verify the first the juror said. The jury voted to convict on two of three counts charging Ehrlichman with committing perjury before the grand jury plus another count which said he lied to the Fri. He was acquitted of lying to the grand jury about who had custody of the plumbers files. Almost All of Ehrlichmann a defense against those charges amounted to a claim of poor memory. A the jury had difficulty believing there could be that Many lapses of memory a the juror said. The jury found that Ehrlichman lied to the grand jury on May 14, 1973, when he testified that he knew nothing of an attempt to obtain from the Central intelligence Agency a psychiatric profile of Ellsberg who leaked the secret Pentagon papers study of the Vietnam War to the press. Ehrlichman had sought to have the trial moved from Washington where he said the majority of citizens Are Black. Democratic and preoccupied with the watergate scandals. Outside the courtroom he made it Clear that Issue would come up again on Appeal. A a As you know we have been concerned from the very beginning about our ability to get a fair trial in this District a he said. Another Issue is National Security which judge Gesell refused to accept As an Appeal to the jury As justification for the break in. A also a great Deal of substance and background of this Case was excluded from the evidence by rulings of the court a Ehrlichman said. Spring session at end Walker recalls state Senate m sen. Sam Ervin Mittee session in the Marble and Oak Senate caucus room that housed the hearings. Ervin said tile committee decided to list no conclusions in its report because the facts of watergate Art being weighed in criminal trials and by the House judiciary committee s presidential impeachment inquiry. Temperature la . 90 yesterday u m per at tires High 93, Low 72 fair worm and humid tonight. Low in the mid or upper 70s. Sunday partly sunny continued hot Aud humid. High in the 90s. By William c. Wertz associated press writer Springfield 111. A Illinois senators who scattered after the adjournment of the general Assembly a Spring session Are being called Back into a special session today. Senate president William c. Harris reached at his Home in i Pontiac said he did not think he could return to Springfield to time for the 4 . Session i called by gov. Daniel Walker. The special session was 1 called at the request of House leaders who accused the Senate of trying to coerce the House into approving a controversial amendment previously rejected several times. The Senate adjourned Friday immediately after attaching the amendment to a Bill appropriating $58 million to various agencies and commissions and providing a $100-a-month raise to about 50.000 state employees. The disputed amendment involves a $7,500 reimbursement to three employees of the state mental health department found guilty of violating an employees civil rights at Manteno state Hospital near Kankakee. Both houses must agree on a Bill in identical form before it can be sent to the governor for signature. Thus the House would have had to accept the amendment in order to approve the appropriations Bill before adjournment. But after nearly an hour of bitter dispute. House leaders came up with a plan to approve All the Bill except the amendment. They urged Walker to Call the Senate Back for a special session devoted exclusively to removal of the $7,500 reimbursement. Walker agreed several hours later. A i am reluctant to take this action but i cannot allow vital state agencies to die a he said. Before adjournment the House and Senate approved a state budget of some $8.7 billion significantly higher than walkers request. In March the governor proposed a fiscal 1975 budget of $7,886 billion but Bills he backed in the legislature raised that figure by approximately $300 million. Final budget action came 12 Days after the beginning of the fiscal year the latest in state history. Walker summed up the Spring session by saying a it could have been better Blit then it could have been he praised the general Assembly for enacting Campaign j disclosure legislation and a Coa development program. But he criticized it for overspending and failing to pass significant tax Relief measures. Blair told a news conference that considerable legislative accomplishments resulted despite a the a sound and fury of a ses j Sion extended unnecessarily by political wrangling. Tile next regular meeting of the general Assembly is a fall session devoted primarily to consideration of Bills the Gover-1 nor vetoed. It is scheduled to j begin nov. 7. Two Days after j the general election. A major Factor in the boosted budget was a $2.1 billion appropriation for the department of transportation about $300 million More than walkers original request. The general Assembly traditionally finishes business by july i but a political dispute Between Walker and atty. Gen. William j. Scott stalled action until a Compromise was finally reached this week. The feud entered on a controversial amendment placed on the appropriations Bills of several departments and agencies. It was designed to give the attorney general sole control Over Legal services. The Amend ment was retained Only on the budgets of the Illinois racing Board environmental Protection Agency and liquor control commission. The massive Dot budget earmarked Money for specific projects an action opposed by transportation Secretary Langhorne Bond. He contended that much of the earmarking was done to make some downstate lawmakers look Good in their Home districts in an election year. A i feel its an unsound budget. But ifs the Best we could get under the circumstances a Bond said. A legislating highways is a bad thing but that a what they have major legislation approved during general Assembly session Springfield 111. Map Here is a summary of major action taken by the general Assembly during the Spring session which ended Friday Fay raises an appropriation to provide a $100-a-month pay raise for state employees under the office of gov. Daniel Walker was held up at the last minute in the mouse. Only action by the Senate in a special session could revive the measure. Authorization for the pay increase earlier had cleared both houses and was sent to the governor. But proposed pay increases for legislators judges and certain Walker administration officials failed to Clear the Senate after House approval. Tho pay Bills for judges and administration officials were never put to a final vote in the Senate. The pay increase for legislators was voted on once but failed. Campaign disclosure a Bill to require disclosure of All Campaign contributions and expenditures of More than $150 was approved. The legislation requires that five reports be made each to the state elections Board or to the county clerk. Tax Relief although several direct tax Relief plans were proposed Only one was approved. That measure would expand the existing Tex Relief plan for Low income elderly persons. Welfare legislation sent to the govern o r would give welfare recipients a to per cent Cost of living increase in Grants. Department officials say the average welfare Grant is $288 a month for a family of four. The Bill passed would provide an additional $30 a month for those families. Mortgage rate Walker signed a Bill Friday which raises he ceiling on residential mortgage rates from 8 to 9 a per cent for one year. Walker had said he would favor the ceiling hike providing the measure contained certain safeguards which the legislature included. Mass transit legislation to provide subsidies to downstate mass transit systems based on the amount of sales taxes collected was sent to the governor. Also approved was a measure to require the regional transportation authority in metropolitan Chicago to spend All the tax Revenue in the area to which it was collected. Energy a $70-million program to develop the vast Illinois Coal reserves was approved and sent to the governor. The plan provides that the department of business and economic development can spend $10 million this year on projects which must be approved by a legislative commission. The Money will come from the Sale of up to $70 million in Bonds. Budget the general Assembly approved a budget with an estimated extra $800 million Over the record $7 886 billion requested by Walker in March. The largest increase Over walkers request some $200 million came in the the department of transportation budget. Other substantial increases occurred in state Aid to local schools Grants to local governments As part of the state tax and Grants to local care facilities for the mentally retarded Tho Young and Foster children

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