Defense lawyers yesterday introduced personal banking records which portray Rep. Daniel Flood as a man of relatively modest means whose dominant source of income is his regular congressional paycheck.
There was no trace in Flood's saving accounts of the $65,000 in bribes he is accused of taking and no sign of any unexplainable cash deposits which could raise questions in a jury's mind.
Though the voluminous material did not specifically rebut any charges against the Pennsylvania Democrat, it underscored for the defense the apparent inability of prosecutors to document the flow of the alleged bribes into Flood's pocket.
During the nine days of testimony in Flood's bribery, conspiracy and perjury trial, six witnesses have said they made direct cash payments to Flood in exchange for his help in procuring federal grants or contracts.
But no evidence demonstrating how he spent the alleged payoffs has been presented and none is expected during the rest of the trial.
The bank account -- for 1972-1976 -- showed no cash deposits at all. All the large deposits were of checks from the U.S. Treasury, which pays Flood's salary.
Flood's savings account balance at the beginning and end of each year never exceeded about $12,500 according to the records presented by Mark Anthony Simko, an official at Flood's First Valley Bank in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
In addition to bolstering the defense contention that Flood never received the cash bribes, the testimony reinforced the image his lawyers have been trying to project for him throughout the trial of a down-to-earth man from coal miner stock who despite his great power, still lives in a small frame house in a "working man's" section of Wilkes-Barre.
A half-dozen character witnesses were brought out yesterday as well to help with that image. "He's known as the most marvelous man in Wilkes-Barre," said Edith F. Jurlancheek, a Democratic ward worker in Wilkes-Barre. "Everybody loves Dan Flood."
"He has an unusual reputation because of his responsiveness to everyone," testified the Rev. Andrew McGowan, director of a Catholic seminary in Wilkes-Barre. "He is known as a responsible, responsive and honest gentleman."
"Even when I came here 16 years ago," said Rep. Joseph McDade, a Republican congressman whose Pennsylvania district adjoins Flood's, "Flood was already a legend."