Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 20, 1975 · Page 17
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July 20, 1975

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 17

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Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 20, 1975
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Page 17
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31 July 20, 1975 Cwtefav »«s» v*v#* Secret Fitzsimmons, Justice Deal Alleged by Informer By Everett R. HtUes (C) Ntv York Time* Service LOS ANGELES - A selfsJescribed longtime government informer, Harry Haller, has told the House Judiciary Committee that the Justice Department make a secret deal with Frank E. Fitzsimmons, president of the Teamster union, in which the department agreed to "go easy'.' in pressing criminal action against the labor leader's son and another union official. In exchange, according to Haller, Fitzsimmons turned over to the government evidence that the union believed could be used in prosecuting two of Fitzsimmons's associates for income tax fraud. However, charges were brought against only one, and he was acquitted. * * * HALLER, A FORMER convict, says he also told committee staff members that William S. Lynch, head of the Justice Department's Organized Crime Section, laid down the terms of the deal and supervised seven months of negotiations in 1972 that included clandestine meetings in various parts of the country. Haller, who is from Los Angeles, says the long bargaining was quickly concluded after Fitzsimmons and other members of the Executive Committee of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters visited President Nixon on July 17,1972, and Fitzsimmou Hofft pledged the union's full support for his reelection. Efforts to reach Lynch, as well as Fitzsimmons and his son, Richard F., were unavailing. Inquiries were referred by Lynch's office to Robert Stevenson of the Justice Department's public information staff. Stevenson said he had discussed the matter with Lynch and "there is no comment." "We do not take any statements by Haller very seriously," Stevenson said. But other sources said the alleged deal was under study by the Judiciary commit, tee. While the panel has not obtained corroboration of Haller's account thus far, it is preparing an investigation into the matter, according to these sources. Haller, who says he acted as a go-be- tween for Fitzsimmons and dealt with two Internal Revenue Service investigators who acted for the Justice Department, said in an interview that his account was the substance of what he told members of the committee staff last month. * * * ONE OF THOSE who questioned Haller, Robert Trainer, of the staff of the judiciary committee's subcommittee on criminal justice, confirmed that Haller had been interviewed at some length about the purported deal, but he declined to confirm the account that Haller said he had given. "This is a matter between Haller, myself and the committee," Trainor said. Haller, 56 year old, was released from prison last Dec. 13 after serving six months for a bank loan fraud. He said he had decided to "blow the lid off the whole mess' regarding the purported deal because the Teamsters failed to pay him certain fees and because "the Justice Department wanted to get me out of circulation" by sending him to prison after he had arranged the deal. Haller asserted that the organized crime section had agreed to extend leniency to the Teamster president's son as a "political payoff" for support of President Nixon in 1972 and also to "obtain needed evidence against Hoffa's friends, some of whom they suspected of having Mafia con- Nixon Gibbow PRICES GOOD JULY 20,21,22 ROUND STEAK nections." The two men Haller said were "traded" to the government for the younger Fitzsimmons and William Presser of Cleveland were Jay Sarno of Las Vegas and Harold Gibbons, veteran teamster boss of St. Louis. Sarno and Gibbons had reportedly suffered Fitzsimmons' distrust and enmity by their continued loyalty to his predecessor, James R. 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