House investigators outlined documentary evidence yesterday that they said shows that Rep. Joshua Eilberg (D-Pa.) knowlingly violated House rules and federal law by taking money from his law firm for representing a Philadelphia hospital before a federal agency.
All 11-page "bill of particulars" detailing charges filed against Eilberg last month by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct cites these examples:
Records show that Eilberg received $34,000 in 1976 from a separate firm his law partners had set up to avoid a conflict of interest because he was a member of Congress and the firm was representing Philadelphia's Hannemann Hospital in obtaining $14.5 million in federal financing from the Community Services Administration.
Eilberg's share was from a $100,000 bonus the firm was paid after the successful completion of financing a hospital extension, and was for services "in which the United States had a direct and substantial interest," the committee staff said.
Eilberg told the staff he didn't know the CSA was a federal agency until early this year. But he was informed in early 1975 that a House appropriations bill would include a special CSA grant for the hospital.
He also discussed problems involving the agency with members of his firm in 1975, and in 1976 he asked a member of his staff to type a letter addressed to the CSA that had been prepared by the lawyers, the staff report said.
The congressman received more than $103,000 from his firms while providing "little or no services" to justify his compensation, the statement alleged. Eilberg did, however, permit employes of the firms to charge long-distance calls on behalf of the hospital to his congressional credit card and later certified they were official calls to be paid from public funds.
In August 1976, Eilberg asked the Library of Congress for an opinion on the propriety of his receiving funds from a firm representing a hospital "which now desires to have the firm represent it before federal agencies." At the time, the firm already had represented the hospital in seeking funds, the committee statement said.
The Library of Congress opinion said it would appear to be a violation of federal law for a member to receive funds under such circumstances. And setting up a "dual partnership" arrangement would present an appearance of impropriety.
Eilberg's only attempt at complying with the opinion was removing his name from the letter head of the firm to make it appear that he was not involved with the firm, the staff said.
In addition, the committee staff alleged yesterday that the hospital had hired Eilbergs firm because it thought he could give it "political clout" in Washington and in Pennsylvania.
Eilberg told the staff in a Sept. 6 interview that the Hahnemann president "thought I might be of help in various ways."
On at least one occasion, Eilberg sought help from another member to get CSA funds released to permit a hospital bond sale to be completed, the committee staff said.
Eilberg has acknowledged receiving funds from the firms, but claimed it was only for work before local and state agencies. He could not be reached for comment yesterday. His office was closed for Yom Kippur.
Technically, the House charges against Eilberg will expire, with all other unfinished business, when Congress adjourns later this week. But committee officials said yesterday that the allegations can be refiled with the new Congress and the disciplinary process pick up where it left off.
A federal grand jury in Philadelphia also has been investigating the role of Eilberg and Rep. Daniel financing for the Philadelphia hospital.
The House investigators said yesterday that Eilberg received more than $19,000 in 1975, more than $62,500 in 1976 and almost $22,000 in 1977 from his firms' work representing the hospital before federal agencies.
Eilberg created a national controversy last year when he called President Carter urging the removal of David W. Marston, the Republican prosecutor in Philadelphia whose office had begun an investigation of the hospital financing.