Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel was convicted of political corruption on Aug. 23, 1977, with five men, four of his closest friends and a lawyer who worked for the group. These five -- Irvin Kovens, Harry Rodgers, William A. Rodgers, W. Dale Hess and Ernest N. Cory -- were charged with corrupting Mandel by giving him thousands of dollars of gifts and business interests in exchange for his support for legislation that benefitted the owners of the Marlboro race track in Prince George's County. Federal prosecutors charged that Kovens, Harry Rodgers, William Rodgers and Hess secretly bought and owned the Marlboro track, and made millions of dollars as a result of legislation that determined the number of racing days held there and regulated the track. According to court testimony, Mandel received about $350,000 in clothes, vacations, help with his alimony payments, and interests in business ventures from the group. Cory, prosecutors charged, helped to conceal the ownership of the track .
Ernest N. Cory Jr., the only defendant in the Marvin Mandel corruption conspiracy case to apologize for his actions, had a prepared statement to read to all who called his home Thursday night.
It said: "I'm glad the Fourth Circuit (Court of Appeals) took a good hard look at the case. I wish it had been given a good hard look in the original instance."
"That's my comment," Cory added brusquely. There were no celebrations, no rejoicings at his home, he said. Of the six defendants in the Mandel case, Cory was the odd man out, the lawyer who worked for the group of friends, and since the trial, he has had the most over which to be bitter.
He has become poor, and since his August 1977 conviction on charges of concealing the true ownership of Marlboro Race Track, Cory has been unwillingly retred from practicing law.
"I've missed working," he said. "The federal government put me on a shelf by bringing this case."
His grandchildren came to visit the night his conviction was reversed, but Cory said, "it's the same old same old. Why should I be celebrating? I wasn't invited anywhere."