A federal judge yesterday rejected arguments that former assistant Navy secretary George A. Sawyer, who is charged with filing false financial statements, is being selectively prosecuted, and said he saw no comparison between Sawyer's case and that of Attorney General Edwin Meese III.
"Trying to equate Meese's situation with this case . . . I don't think it can be done," said U.S. District Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr., who ordered Sawyer to stand trial Dec. 16.
Sawyer, who left the Pentagon in mid-1983 to become a vice president of General Dynamics Corp., has been accused of concealing job discussions he had with the defense contractor while still assistant secretary and of failing to disclose $833 in travel expenses paid by the company while he was on job interviews.
Attorney David D. Aufhauser told Bryan that Meese "failed to report 26" instances of trips or expenses on disclosure forms, but had not been prosecuted. "How about Hansen?" Bryan asked, referring to former representative George V. Hansen (R-Idaho), who was convicted of four counts of filing false financial disclosure statements.
Bryan also rejected Sawyer's request for a trial delay because a key witness, Navy Secretary John F. Lehman Jr., will be in Antarctica that week celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Navy's first Antarctic expedition.