Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel spent this morning in last-minute packing at the governor's mansion he must vacate by Friday and then was driven to the estate he leased for the next year.
Mandel, convicted in August of political corruption, appeared in a chipper mood at the mansion as state troopers held open the door of a state limousine for him.
"I feel fine, how do you feel?" he called to a reporter standing outside the gate.
Jeanne Mandel, the governor's wife, appeared in a far less jovial mood 15 minutes later. She opened the door herself to the gray station wagon loaded down with family possessions.
"Fellas, can't you leave us alone?" she said to several reporters standing on the far side of an iron gate. "No interviews," she snapped to a woman television reporter who tried to question her. One state employee said she had been visibly upset inside the mansion during the morning packing.
By 2:30 p.m. today both Gov. and Mrs. Mandel had arrived at the five-acre estate in the Annapolis suburb of Glen Oban, an estate they have reportedly leased for $675 a month. Recently a 6-foot-high wooden stockade fence was put up around the entrance to the estate, which includes stables and a kidney-shaped swimming pool. By 3 p.m. today workman could be seen unloading Mrs. Mandel's gray Buick station wagon, as well as a large orange moving van from Earle's Moving and Storage Company, of Annapolis.
Moving vans have been transferring the Mandel family furnishings and possessions since Monday night from the mansion to the estate, according to Thom L. Burden. Mandel's press secretary, Burden said he did not know when Mandel would make his final departure from the governor's house.
Maryland Attorney General Francis B. Burch has ruled that Mandel must vacate the mansion by this Friday, Oct. 7, the day he is sentenced for his conviction on 17 counts of mail fraud and one count of racketeering.
Mandel faces a prison term and fines up to $42,000 for the conviction, which is being appealed. His five co-defendants, who were convicted with Mandel on Aug. 23, face similar penalties.
Mandel, a secretive politician who won the governor's office by handsome majorities in each of his races, has not yet revealed how he will earn a living after he is sentenced and how he will pay his rent. Speculation among his friends is that he will have some connection with a law firm. His friends also believe that during his two political corruption trials he incurred legal fees of about $500,000, which have apparently not yet been satisfied.
Today was a moving day not only for the Mandel family, but also for top Mandel aide and loyalist Frank Harris. Harris was told last week by acting gov. Blair Lee III, that his services would no longer be needed.
In mid morning today Harris supervised two state laborers as they hauled cartons of files, photographs, and political memorabilia, including a photographic portrait of former president Harry S. Truman from the State House to his car.
As Harris was later being driven away in another car, he yelled at two newsmen waiting for Mandel to leave, "get out of there, you vultures!" Harris was then driven away.