In a place so far from Baltimore that it would take "two weeks" to travel from there to here, the Very Rev. G. John Carcich is protesting a subpoena demanding that he testify at the political corruption trial of Gov. Marvin Mandel, the federal court here was told today.
Carcich, the ousted head of the troubled Pallottine Fathers mission here, is alleged to have "laundered" $42,000 from a Mandel codefendant, W. Dale Hess, to the governor as payment for Mandel's secret share in Security Investment Inc.
Just yesterday chief federal prosecutor Barnet D. Skolnik was told by Carcich's attorney that the priest was "far, far away" and the subpoena should be quashed.
Skolnik initially refused to divulge the priest's name. When asking U.S. District Judge Robert L. Taylor today to rule quickly on a motion to quash the subpoena, Skolnik would only say that the subpoena was for a witness whose attorney claimed was "so far, far away that it would take as long as two weeks for him to get here."
Out of earshot of the jury but in open court, the defense attorneys immediately ridiculed such a claim from the anonymous witness.
"There's no place in the world that far away," said William G. Hundley, attorney for Hess. "Maybe he's on the moon," responded Arnold M. Weiner, attorney for Mandel.
Only after persistent questions from Judge Taylor would Skolnik reveal the witness's identity as Father G. John Carcich.
Judge Taylor said he will hold a hering Monday on the motion to quash the subpoena.
The government alleges that the $42,000 passed to Mandel through Carcich was one of a series of hidden payments to the governor for his secretly held share in the lucrative Security Investment.
Hess is alleged to have given Mandel 4/9 interest in Security Investment, which owns federally-leased buildings in suburban Woodlawn. Testimony today and Thursday was that Hess paid Mandel about $15,000 in a series of checks for the governor's share of the income from the partnership.
This alleged gift is only part of about $350,000 worth of favors that the prosecution says Mandel received from his codefendants Hess, Harry W. Rodgers III, William A. Rodgers, Irvin Kovens and Ernest M. Cory Jr. In return, Mandle allegedly influenced legislation that would bring profits to the businesses of his codefendants.
At the first trial of Mandel and codefendants, which ended in a mistrial last December, defense attorneys argued in the judge's chambers that the $42,000 Mandel received from Hess through the Pallotine Fathers was a loan to help the governor meet terms of a divorce settlement.
Alice H. Riley, Hess's personal secretary, testified today she altered 1972 ledgers that showed that Hess made payments to "M.M." (Marivn Mandel, she said) for a 4/9 interes in Security Investment.
Mrs. Riley said she was ordered in 1973 to "go back and change that from 'Security Investment' to 'legal fees.'" When assistant prosecutor Ronald S. Liebman asked her what she did with the original, she said: "I guess I threw it away."
Hess's accountant then asked Hess for some proff that the payments were indeed for legal fees and Mrs. Riley was called in by Hess to write a letter.
Glancing often towards Hess, Mrs. Riley testified she typed up a letter from Hess to Mandel that said that Hess owed Mandel $15,000 in old legal fees.
The letter, typed in 1973, was back-dated to 1968, she said.
Mrs. Riley said she also typed a document, produced into evidence, dated Dec. 1, 1971, that gave mandel a 44.44 per cent interest in Hess's general partnership in Security Investment for the price of $40.
On the back of the document was a statement signed by Mandel that the agreement signed by Mandel that the agreement was null and void as of April 10, 1973. Prosecution asked mrs. Riley if she had seen that at any time before Hess learned he was under investigation and she answered "no."