Statesman Journal from Salem, Oregon on October 20, 1983 · Page 5
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Statesman Journal from Salem, Oregon · Page 5

Salem, Oregon
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 20, 1983
Page 5
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inmrthw almanac 2 i( Statesman-Journal, Thursday, October 20, 1983 Marion i nvestigato r cleared of charges By JANET EVENSON 01 the Statesman-Journal Charges were dismissed Wednesday against Jerry Dean Frazier, a Marion County District Attorney's office investigator accused of hindering the criminal prosecution of his son. "I am convinced Mr. Frazier did not commit a crime," said Benton County District Attorney Peter Sandrock, special prosecutor in the case. Frazier's intent when he questioned his son represented "an act of cooperation with the police, not one of hindering," said Sandrock at a press conference in Corvallis. The grand jury that indicted Frazier Aug. 31 did not have all the pertinent evidence before it, he said. Further investigation and interviews with witnesses led him to seek dismissal of the cases, Sandrock said. Frazier, 50, was suspended without pay after his indictment on charges of hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence. He will return to work today at the district attorney's office. v "I'm glad this nightmare is over,'' Frazier said. "I just want to forget it and get back to work." :. District Attorney Chris Van Dyke said he will seek recovery of Frazier's lost pay. "It's only fair in light of the fact it's been determined there was no basis for the criminal charges," Van Dyke said. At a Sept. 13 press conference after Frazier's court arraignment, Sandrock told reporters Frazier was accused of telling his son that if he had any stolen property, he should dispose of it. The grand jury had been investigating the burglary of a Keizer residence from which jewelry and other property were taken. Frazier's son and daughter, Jerry Brent Frazier, 25, and Lisa Elaine Harrington, 20, were indicted on charges of burglary but have not entered pleas yet. Two others also were charged with the burglary. Sandrock said Wednesday the grand jury based its indictment on the testimony earlier in August of a woman who commented briefly on a conversation she overheard between Frazier and his son at the son's apartment. What the grand jury didn't know at that time nor in later sessions was that Frazier had gone to his son's apartment at the request of police investigating the burglary. "The kids denied to their dad they were involved in the crime," Sandrock said. Frazier asked them to take a polygraph examination and they agreed, Sandrock said. Most of the additional information was gleaned from interviews with Frazier and other witnesses to the conversation, Sandrock said. "At the time we took the case to the grand jury, our focus was on the burglary," he said. "We didn't go any further with that remark" from the woman who testified. On Aug. 17, the grand jury indicated to the Benton County deputy district attorney handling the case that it wanted to consider an indictment against the elder Frazier, Sandrock said. "My intention was to have the matter put off until other witnesses were interviewed," he said. The terms of the grand jurors ended Aug. 31. On that day, they contacted a judge and said they wanted to return another indictment, he said. The judge called the deputy district attorney, who came to Salem with the necessary paperwork, Sandrock said. He was out of town that day, he said. "We bear some responsibility for not trying to quash the indictment," he said. However, he noted, grand juries are independent bodies. "The problem is how far the prosecutor should go in telling the grand jury they should not indict," he said. ' The grand jurors did not ask Frazier nor any police officer about his involvement in the conversation because they apparently "decided they had heard enough," Sandrock said. Salem lawyer Paul DeMuniz, who represented Frazier, said Wednesday his client's indictment "was probably one of the most unfortunate incidents that I've witnessed in the criminal justice system. "However, 1 have extremely high praise for the manner in which Mr. Sandrock handled the case after the indictment was returned," he said. "In fact, this case is an example of where the criminal justice system in the end did work. One of the reasons it worked is because you had a fair and independent prosecutor who devoted a lot of time and energy to determining the true facts," DeMuniz said. Family YAKIMA. Wash. (AP) - A fami ly from Arkansas, broke and looking for work, was back together again Wednesday after being jailed for camping without paying in a Washington state park. Freddie Brooks, 34, of Searcy, Ark., was arrested along with his wife, Kathy, 29, and 29-year-old brother, Gene, on Saturday when they didn't have the $7.50 fee at a park where they had set up camp. The Brooks' 10-year-old son, Bobby, was turned over to the state Child Protective Services, the family's three cars, food and camping gear were impounded, and their pet dog named Smokey was taken to the pound. Bobby was returned to his parents Tuesday and was in a local school in the fourth grade Wednesday. The family's vehicles also were returned. "I'm starting to feel like I'm in America again," Freddie Brooks, said Wednesday. Offers of jobs, housing and money began arriving Wednesday after news of the family's plight spread. "This doesn't surprise me," said Fred Porter, a local public defender who took on the Brooks case. "I've been here for 17 years and this is the way the people of Yakima are." Freddie Brooks, who visited the Yakima area last summer, said he brought his family from Arkansas to look for work. They arrived in the area Saturday, leaving nothing behind in Arkansas. As darkness approached, they pulled into Sportsmans State Park east of Yakima and set up camp. With only some change in their pockets, the family ignored signs indicating an overnight stay cost $7.50. . Yakima County Sheriff Dick Ne-sary said Wednesday a park ranger asked them to pay the fee or tear down their camp and leave. "I told 'em we didn't have any money," Brooks said. "I asked 'em what it'd hurt if we just stayed overnight, since we'd set up camp and it was getting dark." Park Ranger Steve Middleton called the Yakima County sheriff's department, and two deputies arrested the whole family for investigation of second-degree trespassing, Nesary said. Since the Brookses had no place to stay, the deputies placed them in jail until they could be arraigned. Bobby was turned over to the state agency, the family's possessions were impounded, and the dog was taken to the pound. "You know, there are two sides to everything," Nesary said. "These people were asked politely to leave the park. They were told there were other places in the valley where they could park for free. They were given about two hours to do this." A sympathetic jail official recognized the family's plight and called sets up camp in jail f ...... T' i ... . F - r, '-Mill'llll ; , mill !-a- x, . V) rwv III iV',.- A ill S u In A II fo ' ' .iV Vi . AW . . HJ ' : V " ' ri " . ' '' 1 v " 1' ( r ' ;. H r -v . rl . . ' v. 3 AP photo Freddie Brooks is reunited with dog Smokey at Yakima dog pound Porter. On Sunday morning, Porter called District Court Judge John Nicholson, who ordered the Brookses released on their own recognizance. When they went to retrieve Bobby, however, Child Protective Service officials advised them that all children taken into custody had to be held for 72 hours, not counting weekends, so the family's background could be researched. They refused to release Bobby. The Salvation Army arranged lodging for the Brookses and scraped up enough money to claim one of their impounded vehicles. The Brookses still minus Bobby appeared in District Court before Judge Heather Van Nuys on Tuesday, pleaded innocent to the trespassing charge and were given a Dec. 13 trial date. Strikers to vote on pact offer at paper mill By MARILYN MONTGOMERY 01 the Statesman-Journal MILLERSBURG - Striking workers at Willamette Industries Albany Paper Mill vote today at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on a three-year contract offer that could end a two-month strike here. The negotiating team for the workers' union, Local 3 of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers, has recommended that the membership accept the contract, according to Dean Smith of Albany, the president of the local. Union and company officials met in Albany Tuesday for the first time since Oct. 3. The meeting was called by a federal mediator, who has arranged all sessions between the two sides since the union started its strike Aug. 18. Smith said Wednesday that the new contract would give the union language it can accept on at least two of the items that have kept the two sides apart a 12-month transition period for changing the company's retirement pension plan, and a firm figure for a wage increase in the second year of the agreement. He said the company compromised on vacation scheduling quotas as well. Smith did not say what changes, if any, had been agreed upon for overtime lunch periods, which have been another part of the dispute. "I think the company compromised a little bit and the union compromised a little," Smith said. "For my part, I'm ready to go back to work. I'm tired of this game." Company spokeswoman Cathy Baldwin said union workers could be back on the job as early as Friday's swing shift if the contract is accepted today. Willamette has been keeping the paper mill operating at reduced capacity with salaried personnel from other plants in eight states. The union represents 308 workers at the paper mill. The last three-year contract with Willamette expired June 30. Labor problems still remain to be solved between Oregon Metallurgical Co., Albany, and members of Local 7150, United Steelworkers of America. Buford Thomas, president of the local, said this week that further talks between the two sides are scheduled Oct. 27 or 28. The last meeting was Oct. 10. Company spokesman Rodger Butler said after the Oct. 10 meeting that both sides had "things to consider" before meeting again. Union members have been working under the terms of their last contract since it expired July 31. Local 7150 represents about 130 workers at OreMet. During the titanium manufacturing plant's peak production times, the union has had as many at 375 members. Current market conditions have forced several mass layoffs at the plant in the last two years, including one last month when about 57 union members were laid off. Most have since been called back, Butler said. The Right Stuff has Jedi packing It took "The Right Stuff" to do it, but it has been done "The Return of the Jedi" will become "The Disappearance of the Jedi" in Salem. George Lucas' third and possibly final chapter in the "Star Wars" trilogy, "Return of the Jedi" will end its 21-week run here tonight, making way at the Elsinore Theater for the opening of Philip Kaufman's "The Right Stuff," which looks at space adventures in the past (1947 to 1963), not the distant future. The record for a run in number of weeks in Salem is still held by "Raiders of the Lost Ark," at 44 weeks, followed by "Jaws" and "The Empire Strikes Back" at 26 weeks each and "Star Wars," at 25 weeks. "Jedi" opened here May 25. But the comparison doesn't hold up otherwise, since only "The Return of the Jedi" held court in Salem's largest (1,400-seat) theater for its entire stay in Salem and at higher admission prices ($3.50) than did some of the earlier long-run hits. Local figures are not available for "Jedi," which has grossed in excess of $300 million in world-wide showings, but "Star Wars" grossed about $253,000 locally and "Jaws" took in : $150,000. "The Right Stuff," the film version of Tom Wolfe's book about the early Mercury astronauts, will have a head start on "Jedi" in making money: Moyer Theaters has raised ticket prices at all its theaters to $3.75. Judge asks for temporary PCA management plan By BILL DIXON Of the Statesman-Journal PORTLAND - A federal judge said Wednesday he wants rival attorneys to come up with a plan for managing the troubled Willamette Production Credit Association. U.S. District Judge Owen M. Pan-ner said the plan would keep the association serving farmers and fishermen in northwest Oregon while deposed board members fight in his court to regain their authority. Speaking during the third day of a hearing for a preliminary injunction, Panner said he expects a time-consuming battle and is not certain ' that the management plans he has seen so far serve borrower interests. He has said several times during the course of the hearing that he is concerned about farmers who may be unable to get crop production money this fall because the association's future is tied up in court. At present, an estimated $96 million in loans are virtually frozen by the two oversight agencies that have taken control of the association the Farm Credit Administration and the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank. They charge that the association has lost $8.9 million already this year and continues to lose money at the rate of $4,000 a day. But a Salem accountant said Wednesday the losses could not be substantiated by the documents the oversight agencies have produced so far. Virgil Elkinton, partner in charge of the Salem office of Touche Ross & Co., said he had examined support- Southern Oregon PCA to fold MEDFORD (AP) - The assistant vice president -of the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank said Wednesday that the Southern Oregon Production Credit Association will be liquidated. Gus Simpson said in a telephone interview in Spokane, Wash., that a letter went out Monday informing members that two other organizations would absorb agricultural and fishery accounts after the liquidation. Simpson said the Southern Oregon PCA has lost $8 million so far this year. In a related development, an attorney for borrowers from the Southern Oregon PCA and the Puget Sound PCA of Mount Vernon, Wash., intervened in federal court on behalf of the board of the Willamette Production Credit Association of Salem. The Puget Sound PCA was liquidated last week. ing documents for five loans considered examples of the methods used in declaring the PCA insolvent. The oversight agencies say the evaluation shows $4.5 million in losses on just those five loans. Said Elkinton: "I don't know whether (the examination is) right or wrong. But from the evidence I see in the file ... to record $4.5-million in losses ... is a real dereliction of your auditors' duty." Elkinton said auditors had sharply reduced the value of land used as collatoral for the loans without getting new appraisals for the land or taking into account other expert appraisals giving the land a much higher value. Attorneys for the Farm Credit Administration challenged Elkinton for not knowing what regulations were followed by the auditors. And they offered evidence to contradict the board's assertion that the loans are sound: Two of the five borrowers have filed or are going to file for business reorganizations under bankruptcy law. Two of the loans were put in loss categories before the audit being challenged by the board. One borrower moved the collatoral for his loan to Canada without telling the association. Another borrower added $200,000 to the estimated value of his land during a two-year period when farmland values in Oregon were declining sharply. Panner said he wants a full examination of the methods used in evaluating the loans, and he criticized Farm Credit Administration attorneys for appearing reluctant to provide that information. "I don't want any secrets here," he said. "I want to get to the bottom of this." Panner scheduled further arguments in the case for 10 a.rn. today.

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