Former UDC president Robert L. Green was found not guilty yesterday of all charges against him by a federal court jury that, according to the foreman, simply did not believe the government's case against Green.

Green, who had been charged with mail fraud, fraud, theft and five counts of perjury in connection with a stereo system and projection television set that were bought with funds from Mayor Marion Barry's special accounts, stood quietly as the verdicts were announced, then shook hands with his attorneys.

As soon as the jury was released, Green walked to the front row of spectators and hugged his wife Lettie, whose eyes brimmed with tears.

Minutes later, Green was hugged and congratulated by several jurors in the case after separate impromptu news conferences on the courthouse steps by Green and jury foreman Robert Poole.

"It's a good feeling . . . . I am very pleased," Green said, describing the last three weeks as a "tough" period for his family.

"We knew we were innocent," said Green, 54, who testified on his own behalf during the trial.

Green's defense attorney, R. Kenneth Mundy, credited Green's acquittal to the former University of the District of Columbia president's decision to go to trial, the first person charged in one of the highly publicized local corruption cases here to do so.

U.S. Attorney Joseph E. diGenova said yesterday, "We accept the jury's verdict, as we do in all cases.

"This was a criminal trial in which the government must prove a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. By its verdict, the jury has concluded that there was a reasonable doubt," diGenova said. U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Bernstein, who prosecuted the case, had no comment.

Mundy, who throughout the trial argued that Green had been made a scapegoat of the Barry administration, blamed the indictment of Green on the government's "zest to prosecute someone" in its investigation of expenditures from Barry's special accounts.

Mundy said the pending investigations of some of Barry's associates "will stand or fall on their own."

Mundy had argued to the jurors that they basically had to choose between the testimony of Green and his chief accuser, mayoral aide Dwight S. Cropp, describing Cropp as a "cesspool of information."

But he seemed to soften his assessment yesterday, saying that Cropp "provided information that the government seized upon and tried to kaleidoscope into a major criminal case."

Cropp declined to comment on the jury's verdict, but one friend said that Cropp believed he had "testified to the truth as he knows it."

The jury took less than three hours to reach its verdict after seven days of testimony. Jury foreman Poole said the group decided almost immediately on seven counts of the eight-count indictment, disagreeing only on the theft count. Poole said a "couple of jurors" were at first confused about what actually constituted theft.

Poole said Green may have been confused about who actually owned the $1,399 Sansui stereo and the $1,994.90 Hitachi projection television set and decided to keep the items until he could determine where to return them. That scenario was a key part of Green's defense. Green testified that he took the stereo and television, knowing that they did not belong to him, but said he considered himself the custodian of the equipment.

Asked about their deliberations, Poole and another juror, Gina Brooks, said the group did not believe the government's case was strong enough for conviction, and when pressed said they did not find Cropp's testimony credible.

"Most of the things he {Cropp} said didn't sound right to me," said Brooks. "I do think the charges should never had been brought."

Poole and Brooks said Green became inexorably linked to the investigation of Barry's special funds. "They just needed somebody and they got him," Brooks said, adding that she was talking about both the mayor and prosecutors.

Green, who was removed by the board of trustees from his administrative job at Cuyahoga Community College after the indictment and placed in a research position, said he plans to take about a week off before returning to work.

Bud Weidenthal, the college's vice president for public affairs, said yesterday he believes a vote of the trustees is required to return Green to his old job in the Joint Center for Applied Research in Urban Education, which does research work on secondary education.

Green said yesterday that he was "never afraid of going to jail," noting that he had been jailed in Mississippi in the early 1960s.

"The concern I had was for my reputation and integrity," he said, adding that he believed destroying a person's reputation was "worse than murder."

Staff writer Tom Sherwood contributed to this report.