Edwin Meese III, attorney general, was accused of helping to arrange federal jobs for six people who had aided him financially while he was White House counselor. Meese also failed to report on his financial disclosure form a $15,000 no-interest loan to his wife, Ursula, from a family friend who later worked for Meese in the White House. An independent counsel's investigation in 1984 found no criminal violations by Meese on these and several other allegations of impropriety.
Edwin W. Thomas, who made the $15,000 no-interest loan to Meese's wife, became an aide to Meese in the White House and later was named San Francisco regional chief of the General Services Administration. Thomas' wife, Gretchen, was hired in the Merit System Protection Board's San Francisco office about the same time, and their son was named to a Labor Department job in Washington.
Thomas J. Barrack, an assistant secretary of the interior, discussed appointment to that job with Meese, then White House counselor, two weeks after arranging the sale of Meese's California home and taking an $83,000 loss on the deal. Barrack later withdrew from consideration for a higher-level Commerce Department job and left the government.
John R. McKean, chairman of the Postal Service board of governors, arranged $118,000 in loans for Meese and White House aide Michael K. Deaver in 1981, and was later recommended by both men for the postal job. An independent counsel's probe of Meese found no connection between the financial assistance by McKean, Barrack and Thomas and their subsequent federal jobs.
In a separate investigation, the Justice Department is examining allegations that McKean participated in the award of a $300,000 Postal Service contract to a San Francisco law firm for which he has done accounting work.
Joseph R. Wright Jr., deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, called a senior official at the Energy Department about a major enforcement case against an Oklahoma oil company in which Wright owns more than $250,000 in stock. The Energy Department delayed its case against the company, run by Wright's father, for more than two years. Wright said he had sought no special treatment.
Mary Ann Gilleece, while serving as the Defense Department's deputy undersecretary for procurement, wrote letters to 28 defense contractors seeking a $30,000-a-year retainer for a consulting firm that she and an aide planned to form when she left the government. Gilleece resigned last year after the Pentagon's inspector general fund that she had violated ethics rules.
Clarence M. Pendleton Jr., chairman of the Commission on Civil Rights, has turned his part-time post into a full-time job that paid him $67,344 last year -- which was less than half his income from outside ventures. As former chairman of a federally funded San Diego group that packages loans for the Small Business Administration, Pendleton has also come under investigation by the SBA for helping arrange a contract for his business partner and special assistant at the commission, Sydney I. Novell, that paid her $77,000 last year in addition to her $41,328 federal salary. Pendleton's lawyer says allegations of impropriety are baseless.
Robert F. Burford, director of the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management, approved regulatory and policy changes that may have enhanced the value of his Colorado ranch and two federal grazing permits held by his three sons. House investigators said Burford broke a formal promise to make no decisions affecting the grazing permits, which he transferred to his sons after joining the government. Burford said he had not violated the pledge.
J. William Petro, U.S. attorney in Cleveland, was fired by President Reagan in 1984 following allegations that he told a friend that the man's associates had been named in a sealed indictment for selling counterfeit merchandise. Petro was convicted of criminal contempt for violating grand jury secrecy and was fined $7,500.
Everett G. Rank Jr., head of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, designed and administered the Payment-in-Kind (PIK) program that later provided his farm with more than $1 million in free federal cotton. Rank said he did not know that his partners had enrolled the California farm in the program, and a department review found no wrongdoing on his part.
Alfred S. Regnery, head of the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice, approved a grant proposal for a book on juvenile justice that included a provision under which Regnery would be paid $1,000 to write a chapter.
Victor Schroeder, president of the Synthetic Fuels Corp., resigned the $135,000-a-year post in 1983 after disclosures that he had offered another director help with his private business in return for supporting a Schroeder proposal, and had awarded noncompetitive contracts to former business associates.
Victor M. Thompson Jr., Schroeder's successor as president of the Synthetic Fuels Corp., voted on decisions involving government funds for a Texas oilman whose help he had sought to shore up his private business. Thompson resigned in 1984 after an internal report found that he had violated ethics rules.
Michael Cardenas, Reagan's first head of the Small Business Administration, was asked by the White House to resign after complaints about his performance and an internal probe of conflict-of-interest charges involving SBA contracts.
Armand Reiser, special assistant to the energy secretary, resigned in 1981 after reports that he failed to list on his financial disclosure form $32,370 in consulting fees from a major Energy Department contractor.
Daniel K. Benjamin, chief of staff at the Labor Department, resigned in 1984 after disclosures that he had free use of a sailboat owned by a lobbyist for a trade association that deals with the department. A departmental review found no conflict of interest.
Carlos C. Campbell, head of the Economic Development Administration, resigned in 1983 after disclosures that he helped arrange a grant to an institute run by a longtime acquaintance, which enrolled him in a $24,000 computer course at no cost and provided him with a free home computer. Campbell denied any conflict and said certain congressmen had sought his ouster for opposing pork-barrel projects.
Shannon Ann Fairbanks, chief of staff of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, sought a $500,000 home loan in the District of Columbia this year by sending banks mailgrams signed with her official title. Fairbanks said it was an inadvertent error by her secretary.
Norman H. Raiden, chief counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, was accused by a House committee of signing several documents affecting a Beverly Hills savings and loan that he formerly represented. Raiden, who resigned last December and returned to the law firm that represents the thrift, said none of the bank board documents he signed involved issues he handled at the law firm.
Wesley A. Plummer, director of civil rights at the Transportation Department, resigned in 1983 during an investigation into his use of government secretaries and postage to solicit funds from department contractors on behalf of a private organization he headed.
James C. Cummings, former Chicago regional chief of the Housing and Urban Development Department, rented an apartment at bargain rates from a friend who did business with HUD. He was transferred to another post.