The Senate Select Committee on Ethics offered this week to drop its hearing on allegations of financial misconduct against Sen. Herman E. Talmadge (D-Ga.) if Talmadge would agree to accept a Senate censure, committee officials said yesterday.
The offer was transmitted through Talmadge's close friend, Sen. John C. Stnnis (D-Miss.), but up to yesterday the Georgia senator had not made any reply, committee spokesman Lynn Murphy said. A spokesman for Talmadge declined yesterday to comment on the offer.
Sources close to Talmadge said yesterday, however, that he had rejected the committee's offer and that the committee hearing would probably begin as scheduled on Monday.
The Senate committee's hearing is scheduled to last two weeks and cover five separate charges of financial misconduct. The most serious concern allegations that Talmadge was involved in filing false Senate expense claims and converted campaign contributions to personal use.
A federal grand jury also has been looking into the allegations but sources said yesterday that no action is likely to be taken by the Justice Department against Talmadge or his chief accuser, fromer aide Daniel Minchew-whom Talmadge has labeled an "embezzler"-until the Senate hearing is completed.
Sen. Harrison Schmitt (R-N.M.) said yesterday that any agreement between the committee and Talmadge would leave open the possibility the hearing could be reconvened if Talmadge were found guilty of criminal charges.
Negotiations between Talmadge and the committee were opened up after news reports that Talmadge and his former wife Betty had access to thousands of dollars in $100 bills stashed in an overcoat in their apartment here up to 1974. The committee has obtained 77 of the bills from Talmadge's former wife.
Committee officials said James Hamilton, the attorney for Talmadge, contacted committee Chairman Adlai E. Stevenon (D-III.) for suggestions about a possible negotiated settlement of the case.
Using a proposed plea bargaining agreement drawn up last December-and updated last week-the committee replied this week to Hamilton.
Under the terms of the agreement, Talmadge would have to accept a censure by the Senate. The procedure was used in 1967 against then Sen. Thomas Dodd (D-Conn), the most recent incumbent to be found guilty of financial misconduct by the Senate.