The Newark Advocate from Newark, Ohio on February 28, 1991 · 5
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The Newark Advocate from Newark, Ohio · 5

Newark, Ohio
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 28, 1991
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Cranston only Keating Five member in trouble The Advocate, Nework 0., Thua, Feb., 28, 1991 Page 5A WASHINGTON (API The sen ate Ethics Committee says Sen. Alan Cranston may have committed major ethics violations, but no action is needed against the four other members of the Keating Five. Cranston, D-Calif., is fighting the allegations, while his colleagues are trumpeting the conclusion of their cases. The six-member committee's unanimous report Wednesday set the stage for possible censure of Cranston by the full Senate. The panel said it found "substantial credible evidence" that "Senator Cranston engaged . in an impermissible pattern of conduct in which fund-raising and official activities were substantially linked." The committee, even while ending the four other cases, said Sens. Donald W. Riegle Jr., D-Mich., and Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., "gave the appearance of being improper" in their actions on behalf of former savings and loan owner Charles H. Keating Jr. Sens. John Glenn, D-Ohio, and John McCain, R-Ariz., "exercised poor judgment," the committee concluded. But it said the two "violated no law ... or specific rule" of the Senate. The panel did not repeat such a statement for Riegle and DeConcini, concluding instead that "no further action is warranted." Keating and his. associates Glenn feels he's vindicated By RANDY WYNN Advocate Washington Bureau The Senate Ethics Committee and Ohio Sen. John Glenn accused one another Wednesday of poor judgment Concluding its 16-month investigation of Glenn's dealings with . campaign contributor Charles Keating, the . committee pronounced Glenn not guilty of violating any law or Senate regulation But the panel added that the Ohio Democrat "exercised poor judgment" in arranging a 1988 luncheon for Keating with then-House Speaker James Wright after he had been informed that criminal charges against Keating and his savings and loan were possible. An angry Glenn told reporters he considers himself "completely vindicated." "How can I feel anything but?" he asked. ''There's no censure, there's no nothing out of It They've investigated everything there is to investigate and the worst thing they could come up with was that I went to a luncheon, where I merely acted as host and I picked up the tab ... How weak can it be?" While finding probable Senate rule violations by Sen. Alan Cranston, D-Cal., the panel concluded no disciplinary action is warranted against Glenn or the other members of the Keating Five Sens. Donald Riegle, D-Mich., John McCain, R-Ariz., and Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz. The committee said all the senators exercised poor judgment and that Riegle and DeConcini's conduct "gave the appearance of being improper." ,,, Glenn, however, insisted that his . dealings with Keating were "proper and ethical in every respect," and went on to accuse the bipartisan ethics committee of political , "horse-trading." He refused to elaborate except to say he was referring to many reports that Democrats on the panel refused to , exonerate him and McCain, the only Republican under scrutiny, in order to avoid making the Keating affair a totally Democratic scandal. With the final verdict on Glenn's involvement with Keating likely to . be written by Ohio voters next year, Ohio Republicans were quick Wednesday to seize on the committee's criticism of the senator rather than its decision not to punish him. "Above all, this is a matter of judgment," declared . Ohio GOP chairman Robert Bennett "John Glenn misjudged Charles Keating. He also misjudged the tolerance of Ohio's taxpayers, who are left to. foot the bill of nearly $2 billion., Glenn helped Keating, while Keating helped himself to a big taxpayer-financed bailout of his sinking S and L." Ohio GOP executive director Brian Berry predicted that Glenn's Keating ties will "have a long political life." "Now it leaves the Senate Mutual Protection Society and comes back into Ohio politics," he said. After four weeks of deliberations that followed public hearings spanning two months, the ethics committee concluded that the senators' participation in two April 1987 meetings with federal regulators at Keating's request was not in itself improper. "Each of the senators had information that reasonably caused concern about the fairness of the Federal Home Loan Bank's examination of Lincoln Savings and Loan," the committee reported Wednesday. Glenn's involvement in the now-infamous meetings was made public in the fall of 1987 by a thrift industry trade publication, but drew httle attention until former Federal Home Loan Bank Board chairman Edwin Gray complained about senatorial interference. In July 1989 the Ohio Republican Party asked the ethics committee to investigate Glenn's role, and in September filed a formal complaint A month later, Common Cause filed a complaint against all five senators, contending the meetings constituted special treatment for a campaign contributor. The ethics committee hired a special counsel to investigate the Keating Five in November 1989 and a month later expanded the probe to a formal inquiry. Glenn contended the committee's investigation of his conduct was unwarranted, and became angry when the probe dragged on through last year. donated $1.3 million to the campaigns and political causes of the Cve senators, most of it while the Federal Home Loan Bank Board was conducting its examination of Keating's now-failed Lincoln Savings and Loan of Irvine, Calif. Lincoln was seized by federal regulators in April 1989 at a poten-. tial cost to taxpayers of more than $2 billion to cover insured deposits. The 14-month investigation was triggered by a complaint from the public interest group Common Cause. Its president, Fred Wer-theimer, called the decision "a damning indictment of the committee" because "all five senators in the Keating affair are culpable." The Ethics Committee findings against Cranston constitute a required statement detailing the specific charges against him similar to an indictment He now has a chance to respond and can request a hearing. Cranston who says won't seek re-election next year gave only an opening statement during two months of public hearings in the case. He did not testify because he was being treated for prostate cancer in California. Asked if Cranston would continue to fight the allegations, his lawyer, William Taylor III, said: "You can be sure of that" The committee said Cranston "may have engaged in improper conduct that may reflect upon the Senate" a catchall charge covering general ethical misconduct After Cranston responds, the committee can recommend action by the full Senate to censure the chamber's former assistant majority .sader. Cranston said, "It's clear that I have been unfairly singled out despite the evidence in all five cases." McCain repeated statements that his intervention with regulators on Keating's behalf was "a mistake." But, he said, "Clearly, 'no improper conduct' is what is important here, and I view that as full exoneration." DO SEN. ALAN CRANSTON SPR SALE SAVE ON WARDROBE ESSENTIALS AND ACCESSORIES V Y ' t saw Wm J - i p J 4 . (to, S. - t naWWHHSWI 34-38 MISSES' CAREER SEPARATES. Reg. $34. Misses' Worthington pleat front rayon blouse in spring colors. Reg. $38. 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