Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on June 18, 1970 · Page 30
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 30

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 18, 1970
Page 30
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Page 30 article text (OCR)

Nathan Voloshen Guilty plea entered by Voloshen Associated Press NEW YORK - Gaunt, gray and ailing, lobbyist Nathan Voloshen pleaded guilty yesterday to using House Speaker John W. McCormack's Washington office as a base for influence peddling. The plea left McCormack's long-time congressional aide, Martin Sweig, 48, on trial alone in federal court on conspiracy and perjury charges. Facing up to 20 years in federal prison, Voloshen may be called as a government witness against Sweig. The pair was accused of conspiring in a scheme to pressure government agencies on behalf of favor - seeking clents, who were willing to pay for the prestige of McCormack's name and office. The 78-year-old Masachu- setts Democrat was not accused of any involvement in the influence peddling. McCormack has announced he is retiring at the end of the year, after 42 years in the House. As the joint trial of Sweig and Voloshen was about to get under way, federal Judge Marvin E. Frankel announced that the 71-year-old lobbyist on Monday expressed a desire to plead guilty to conspiracy and three counts of perjury, stemming from attempts to cover up the influence peddling in grand jury testimony. Voloshen suffers from a heart ailment, and Frankel said health was a factor in the defendant's desire to avoid a lengthy trial. Voloshen's sentencing was put off,until Sept. 17, and he was continued free in $50,000 bail. Frankel then turned to the task of picking a jury to try Sweig. Prospective jurors heard the judge read a list of 82 names of individuals and corporations expected to figure in trial testimony. Included was that of McCormack, who is expected to testify either in person or by deposition. One of the names was tht of Salvatore "Sally Burns" Granello, a reputed Cosa Nostra figure. The indictment charges that he sought the aid of the defendants to avoid a transfer while serving a federal prison sentence in 1965 for income tax evasion. Another name was that of actress Jill St. John, a stockholder in Parvin Dohrmann Co., which owns hotels and casinos and supplies hotel equipment. Voloshen was accused by the government of collecting a $50,000 fee from Parvin Dohrmann in a vain effort to head off a six-day suspension of the firm's trading privileges on the American Stock Exchange, a penalty imposed for misleading press releases. The Securities and Exchange Commission had charged that Miss St. John was a member of the firm's control group responsible for the releases. Sweig served as a top aide to McCormack for 24 years, until his suspension last October as $36,000-a-year administrative assistant to the speaker. A bachelor, he faces up to 50 years in federal prison if convicted. 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