Walter Jones Jr., a construction company employe who reportedly supervised the move of Superior Court Judge Robet H. Campbell from one home to another in 1975, paid nothing for overweight truck tickets worth at least $25,600 when he appeared before Judge Campbell on two occasions a year and a half later, according to court records.
According to computer printouts of the Superior Court records, Jones appeared before Campbell on March 8, 1977, on 31 tickets issued in his name. The standard fines for all of the tickets would have ranged from $3,100 to $6,200. Instead, Jones was fined $620, and the sentence was suspended by Campbell.
On April 21, 1977, Jones appeared before Campbell on 225 tickets - also issued in his name - for which the standard fine would have ranged from $22,500 to$45,000. Instead, Jones was fined $5,625, and Campbell again suspended payment of the fines.
Jones, who is also known as Junior Jones, is supervisor for Excavation Construction Inc,. one of the area's largest construction firms. The Washington Post has previously reported that Campbell handled at least 550 tickets issued in the name of the company and suspended fines in all those cases.
The FBI and a federal grand jury here have been investigating the relationship between the construction company and the judge to determine whether the judge's handling of tickets issued to Excavation Construction was improper.
According to truck drivers who participated in the move, Jones supervised them when they moved Campbell into his home on Sudbury Place NW in August or September of 1975. The men said they did the unusual work under the direction of Jones in a truck rented by the company for the time spent moving the judge.
Jones is a truck superintendent, not a driver, for the company, and it was unclear how would have accumulated the large number of tickets in his name.
Jones said he would have to check his records before he could comment.
Law enforcement authorities have estimated that as many as 1,400 tickets for which Excavation Construction was liable may have been issued in a period of almost two years that is under investigation.
Overweight truck tickets are issued when trucks are found to be carrying loads heavier than 46,700 pounds, unless the trucks have special overnight tags. Since the early 1970s, under congressional legislation, huge trucks such as excavation construction's, that carry dirt and other materials away from construction sites in the District can get what are known as "heavy tags." With the tags, they may carry up to 65,000 pounds at a time.
The tags cost $680 per vehicle per year, with the money intended to defray the cost of damage to city streets and highways caused by heavily loaded trucks.
Excavation Construction, with a fleet of 70 trucks, purchased no heavy tags for part of 1975 and all of 1976, according to D.C. Department of Transportation records.
The initial fine for an overweight truck is $100 when one ticket is issued. Later, the fine doubles to $200 or 10 days jail or both.
A Washington Post review of available official Superior Court records found in July that Campbell handled at least 550 tickets issued in the name of Excavation Construction between October 1975 and May 1977. Othe tickets apparently were issued in the names of individual drivers. Some drivers have said they spent time in jail on tickets that company had not paid.
Police traffic officials said that a one point department policy shifted from issuing tickets in the name of the truck driver to issuing tickets in the name of the firm. Later, policy shifted back to issuing tickets in driver's names.
Another Superior court computer printout indicates that Jones appeared before Campbell on 12 overweight truck tickets on March 31, 1976. In that case, the security he had posted on the tickets was forfeited, according to the printout.
Reached at his home last night, Judge Campbell told a reporter. "I don't care to talk to anyone. While an investigation is going on, it would not be just to comment."
Excavation Construction is the focus of another federal grand jury unquiry in Baltimore that is looking into allegations of labor racketeering. That investigation involves questions of whether officials of the construction firm traded favors to former local Teamster president Frank DeBrouse in exchange for concessions from the union.