When Stephen B. Elko was losing his congressional job in 1976, he put at the top of his list of possible "job options" a $50,000 a year post with the Philadelphia law firm of Rep. Joshua Eilberg (D-Pa.), according to newly released testimony.
Elko, then chief aide to Rep. Daniel J. Flood (D-Pa.), is not a lawyer. But he has told federal prosecutors that he and Flood helped Eilberg's law firm get a $500,000 account with Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia, for work in obtaining a $14 million federal grant to build a new addition.
Elko has since been convicted of bribery in another case that led to his forced resignation in mid-1976. He is cooperating with investigators and has alleged that Flood traded his influence as chairman of a key House Appropriations subcommittee for cash payoffs.
The former Flood aide also has said that he worked personally with Eilberg on the Hahnemann grant, sources said.
It is not clear whether Elko ever received any money from the Eilberg firm. But sources familiar with the investigation said yesterday that Elko did discuss the "job" possibility with Eilberg's law partner, Lawrence Corson.
Na Eliberg aide declined comment yesterday. Corson could not be reached for comment.
The Washington Post reported in February that federal prosecutors are investigating whether Flood and a close friend arranged to pay support money through jobs and legal fees for Elko in an effor to buy his silence.
Reference to Elko's hoped for job with the Philadelphia law firm is contained in the transcript of a telephone interviewed that Sen. Malcolm Wallop (R-Wyo.) had Wednesday with David W. Hinden, an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles who prosecuted the bribery case in which Elko was convicted.
Wallop yesterday made the interview a part of the public record in the confirmation hearings of Benjamin R. Civiletti to be deputy attorney general.
In that interview, Hinden said he first heard of Eilberg, and Hahnemann Hospital when he took part in a mid-November debriefing of Elko.
"We showed him a piece of paper that had come into our possession . . . (It) contained a number of job options that Steve Elko had outlined around June of 1976, which is when he left Congressman Flood's staff," Hinden said.
"The first option on that list was the law firm of Corson . . . ," Hinden added, saying he recalled "there may have been a figure of $50,000 attached to that possible option."
Sources familiar with the investigation confirmed yesterday that the $50,000 figure was contained in the Elko list of job possibilities.
Hinden said he asked Elko how he'd be getting money from a law firm when he wasn't an attorney. It was then, Hinden said, that Elko mentioned that the firm was "Josh Eilberg's law firm and that they had helped that firm obtain the Hahnemann Hospital account."
Wallop said Hinden's statement conflicted with the earlier sworn testimony of John M. Dow the head of an organized crime strike force coordinating the Flood investigation.
Dowd said the first evidence of Eilberg's involvement in the hospital financing was received from Elko on Dec. 19.
Dowd's chronology of the matter, obtained from the Justic Department under the Freedom of Information Act, shows that on that date Elko talked about: "Meeting in July 1975. Elberg thanks Elko for getting hospital as client." The next several lines are deleted.
Dowd said in a brief phone interview yesterday that he doesn't recall seeing that Elko list of "job options" in mid-November, as Hinden recollects.
Wallop has been questioning the timing of Elko's revelations in an effort to determine whether Eilberg or Justice Department officials were aware of them on Nov. 4. Eilberg called President Carter that day to urge the replacement of Philadelphia U.S. attorney David W. Marston.
Attorney General Griffin B. Bell's dismissal of Marston in January triggered a controversy because of charges the republican prosecutor was being replaced to protect Democratic congressman.
Hinden said in a phone interview from Los Angeles yesterday that Elko's first reference to Eilberg in mid-November was "almost in passing." He said, as he did in the Wallop interview, that extensive debriefing of Elco on the Hahntmann Hospital transactions didn't begin until Dec. 9.
The Dowd chronology shows that Elko first began cooperating on Dec. 5. The first three days were devoted to his knowledge of possible obstruction of justice in the case for which he was convicted of bribery.
The Hannemann debriefing continued from Dec. 9 through Jan. 3, according to both the Dowd chronology and the Hinden interview.
On Jan. 4, the Dowd sequence noted, the subject changed to: "Elko debriefed on bribes to Flood."
Flood and Eilberg both have denied any wrongdoing. CAPTION: Picture, STEPHEN B. ELKO, . . . had hopes for $50,000 post