A recurring allegation that President Nixon received a huge cash payoff for pardoning former Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa surfaced again yesterday in a Phoenix newspaper.
The Arizona Republic said it had obtained a 19-page diary that indicated Nixon got a $500,000 payoff for the 1971 pardon of Hoffa.
But FBI sources familiar with the case said they felt the ledger was fabricated. They also noted that the story wasn't a new development. The document had been turned in about two years ago by an informant named Gerald Denono, they said. Denono was described in the story as a "Mafia hit man."
A similar story about a payoff to Nixon involving Hoffa appeared in Time magazine in 1977. That one said that Hoffa's successor, Frank Fitzsimmons, paid Nixon $1 million in return for having Hoffa barred from seeking elective office in the union again.
Fitzsimmons, and Nixon and his aides consistently denied such allegations.
Yesterday's news story said that the diary showed that some $28 million in slot machine profits was skimmed from Las Vegas casinos in 1972 and 1973.
A Jan. 5, 1973, entry apparently referred to Fiztsimmons, reputed underworld figures Allen Dorfman of Chicago and Anthony Provenzano of New Jersey and Nixon aide Charles Colson. According to the Phoenix paper account, that entry said: Fitz OK. Al Dorfman Chi OK. Tony Pro Jersey OK ( $500 -- to C.C. (equals) Nix OK)."
FBI sources said Denomo gave several conflicting stories about the origins of the diary and isn't considered a credible witness.
FBI sources said Denono gave several conflicting stories about the origins of the diary and isn't considered a credible witness.
"The mob didn't want Hoffa pardoned." one source said. "They were perfectly happy with Fitzsimmons."
Hoffa, who was pardoned Dec. 23, 1971, disappeared outside a restaurant in a Detroit suburb on July 30, 1975.