Self-confessed mob hit man" Charles Allen testified today that, on orders from former Teamsters president James R. Hoffa, he personally delivered a briefcase containing $40,000 to former Attorney General John N. Mtichell in 1973.
Allen said Hoffa's orders to make the delivery were given at a testimonial dinner, which was held at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., April 27, 1973 to honor Hoffa for his prison reform campaign.
Allen said that after receiving the briefcase, he left the hotel in a waiting limousine along with Alan Cohen, whom federal authorities describe as a Philadelphia businessman with ties to the Teamsters. Allen said they were driven to a stone house with a circular driveway somewhere outside Washington and were met at the door by Mitchell.
Allen said they told Mitchell that "Jimmy" sent them.
The Mitchell incident came to light as Allen testified under cross-examination by defense attorney F. Emmett Fitzpatrick in the racketeering trial of Francis J. Sheeran, president of Teamsters Local 326 in Wilmington, Del.
Fitzpatrick based his questions on FBI interviews with Allen in 1977 and 1979 when Allen was a confidential informat for the federal government.
When asked by Fitzpatrick how he knew the briefcase contained $40,000, Allen Replied, "Jimmy and Al Cohen told me it was $40,000. I don't forget that."
Sheeran is on trial in U.S. District Court on Charges that he paid Allen to commit murders, arsons and other crimes for him.
Neither Cohen nor Mitchell, who was released from prison Jan. 19, 1979, after serving 19 months of a 2 1/2- to 8-year sentence for his role in the Watergate coverup, could be reached today for comment. Mitchell is reportedly writing a book about his political life and doing consulting work. He was disbarred after his conviction.
The reason for the delivery of money to Mitchell was not revealed in today's testimony. It occurred, however, during a time when Hoffa was actively challenging a presidential ban on union activity that would have prevented him from recapturing his role as president of the largest union in the country and was lobbying to secure a full pardon from the administration of former President Richard M. Nixon.
Hoffa was released from prison Dec. 23, 1971, when Nixon-signed an executive grant of clemency commuting Hoffa's 13-year sentence for jury tampering to 6 1/2 years on the condition that Hoffa not engage in any union activities unitl March 6, 1980.
In 1973 Hoffa was hoping to run for president at the union's 1976 convention. He vanished, however, July 30, 1975, and is presumed to be dead. c