The U.S. attorney in Roanoke has charged Sam Garrison, who served as minority counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon, with embezzling 46,000 from a mobile home company.
Garrison, 38, who has been working as a lawyer in general practive in the Roanoke firm of Mundy and Garrison since his stint as the Republicans' chief counsel during the impeachment hearings against Nixon in 1974.
Before joining the Judiciary Committee, Garrison was former vice president Spiro T. Agnew's staff counsel and legislative liaison. But Garrison had no role in Agnew's defense against bribery charges in the Maryland kickback scandal.
The embezzlement charges against Garrison were contained in a criminal information filing. His attorney, Gordon Shapiro, said Garrison expects to waive his right to have a grand jury review the allegations. He will be arraigned Monday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.
Garrison has served as the court-appointed trustee for A and U Mobile Homes of Georgia Inc. since it filed for bankruptcy in 1974.
Last month, Garrison told a U.S. bankruptcy court judge about shortages in the account of the company. The judge informed the U.S attorney's office, which informed the FBI, according to Garrison's lawyer, Gordon Shapiro.
Garrison could not be reached for comment, but Shapiro said his client told the bankruptcy judge about the shortages of funds because he "felt it incumbent to make the disclosure at that time." Shaprio would not say why.
The filing against Garrison was sealed, pending his appearance before the judge on Monday. U.S. Attorney E. Montgomery Tucker announced the charges yesterday.
Garison grew up in Roanoke, graduated from the University of Virginia Law School, and then became an assistant commonwealth's attorney in Roanoke. He moved to Washington in 1971 and served on Agnew's staff during the 1972 campaign. He became Agnew's lawyer after the election.
During the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Nixon, Garrison presented a 41-page argument against impeachment. He urged House members to resist impeachment if the case did not seem overwhelming to them, and he asked the committee to consider the political implications of acting against Nixon.
"The question," Garrison said at the time, "is whether the public interest would better be served or not served by removal of the president."