DNC's Stanley Greigg Dies; Signed Watergate Complaint
Sunday, June 16, 2002
Stanley L. Greigg, 71, the former Democratic National Committee official who filed the original criminal complaint against the Watergate burglars, died June 13 in Salem, Va., where he was attending a meeting of his religious denomination.
When his telephone rang at his home on June 17, 1972, Mr. Greigg, deputy chairman of the DNC, was one of the first people to learn of the arrests made that morning in connection with the break-in at DNC headquarters in the Watergate office building.
The break-in and the links between the suspects and President Richard M. Nixon's reelection committee touched off the Watergate scandal, which became a landmark in modern American political history and led to Nixon's resignation in 1974.
As his family recalled it, and as recounted in the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal, Mr. Greigg's first question that morning on being told of the break-in was on the order of, "Did you catch the kids?"
And, according to those accounts, Mr. Greigg became one of the first people in Washington to glimpse the true dimensions of the break-in when he heard the police officer on the other end of the line say, "No, sir, these men we arrested were in business suits."
Mr. Greigg, who had been a member of Congress and a college dean, was vice president of the metropolitan Washington synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and was a past finance chairman of Grace Lutheran Church in Washington. He was in Salem for the annual assembly of the synod at Roanoke College.
He collapsed on his way to a worship service and died less than an hour later at a hospital in Salem. Family members said from his home in Bethesda that they believed the cause was a heart attack.
After being notified of the break-in, according to his eldest daughter, Valerie Greigg Dugan, Mr. Greigg "signed all the arrest reports and the complaints."
In subsequent days, he kept posted on the development of the investigation, she said. He "followed it through to the very end" and spent a good deal of time with reporters who were pursuing the matter, she said.
In later years, his daughter said, Mr. Greigg spoke about the break-in during talks at schools.
"He actually took that to a lot of my high school history classes, college history classes," she said.
In October 1999, the Sioux City Journal reported on his talk to a history class at a community college there in which he recalled making two reports to his superior, DNC Chairman Lawrence F. O'Brien, in the aftermath of the arrests.