The Justice Department announced yesterday that it will retry Rep. Daniel Flood (D-Pa.), whose first bribery, conspiracy and perjury trial ended Jan. 27 in a hung jury.
There was some doubt about a retrial because of Flood's age, 75, and his current hospitalization. But sources indicated that the broad scope of the charges and the nearness of a guilty verdict in the first trial outweighed the other factors.
A single juror held out against a guilty verdict on some of the 11 counts against Flood, according to other jurors.
Flood was charged with accepting over $50,000 worth of bribes from individuals seeking his help in securing government grants and contracts.
Six witnesses, including Flood's former administrative aide, Stephen Elko, testified to paying bribes directly to Flood, who at the time chaired an Appropriations subcommittee on labor and health, education and welfare.
The circumstances of the holdout during deliberations are the subject of an FBI investigation announced by the Justice Department last week.
That inquiry was prompted by reports that the holdout juror had spread unauthorized information to the other jurors and that the information was so precise as to suggest that he had received it from someone, rather than "made it up," as he said at the time.
During the first trial, which lasted 15 days, Flood's lawyers argued that the congressman was framed by Elko. They portrayed Flood as a "frail old man" victimized by Elko and his associates, several of whom were key witnesses against Flood during the trial.
That same theme was cited by the holdout juror as he was being pressed by his co-jurors. But he added to it an allegation that Elko and the others had stolen $176,000 from Flood in California some years ago.
That allegation had not come out in the trial or in the newspaper coverage of the Flood matter. Though inaccurate, it resembled a story once told to prosecutors by Elko.
Investigators are now trying to determine how the holdout juror had knowledge of the Elko story and whether, despite the sequestration of the jury, someone might have approached him during the trial.