As late as 5 p.m. Tuesday, everything was set for what was expected to be a quick and easy Senate confirmation hearing for Labor Secretary-designate Raymond J. Donovan. But an hour later, according to Hill sources, ranking Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Labor Committee decided, in private conversation, that more information and time were needed to sort out published allegations about Donovan's business dealings.
So the hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. yesterday, was postponed until 10 a.m. Monday.
The allegations involve a check sent by Donovan's firm, the Schiavone Construction Co. of Secaucus, N.J., to Irving Kantor, a Newark, N.J., businessman who had set up a fake corporation to launder payoffs from contractors to politicians and mobsters in Newark. Donovan says the check was to pay the lease on a vacant piece of land.
The FBI looked into the matter, and a copy of its report was jointly requested Dec. 31 by Sens. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Labor and Human Resources Committee, and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), ranking minority member.
Committee sources said yesterday that they thought they would have the report in time for the hearing. "But we didn't . . . and it didn't make much sense to go ahead with the hearing until such time as we got the information," said one source.
Even though, as one source put it, the FBI report "is not something that will hurt Donovan," Kennedy suggested to Hatch that the hearing be postponed. Hatch found the suggestion reasonable.