Donovan Jury Sequestered Over Article

May 15, 1987|Associated Press

NEW YORK — The jury hearing the criminal case against former U.S. Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan was sequestered Thursday after a newspaper reported that Donovan is the subject of a perjury investigation.

State Supreme Court Justice John P. Collins granted a motion for sequestering from defense lawyers in the larceny and fraud case, which is in its final days of closing statements, Assistant Dist. Atty. Stephen R. Bookin said.

The judge did not inform the jurors of his reason for sequestering them. Bookin said the judge acted out of concern that, if jurors saw the article in New York Newsday, or subsequent articles, their opinion of Donovan might be tainted.

Unidentified Sources

Newsday, citing unidentified congressional and law enforcement sources, reported that lawyer Leon Silverman again has been designated as a special prosecutor to investigate Donovan, who resigned from President Reagan's Cabinet in March, 1985.

In 1982, Silverman examined allegations linking Donovan to organized crime figures and reported that he had found "insufficient credible evidence" for any prosecution. Newsday's report said that Silverman now was to examine whether Donovan perjured himself in his 1982 testimony about the allegations.

In a brief statement issued from Italy, where he was attending a meeting, Silverman said: "As I have said before, I will not admit, deny, confirm or not confirm anything with respect to any issue on independent counsels, and you are not to infer anything from that."

Donovan is on trial on charges that are not related to his Cabinet office or the alleged organized crime links. He and seven construction industry associates are accused of keeping $7.4 million that they reported giving to a minority-owned subcontractor on a subway tunnel contract from 1979 to 1984.

The case is expected to go to the jury next week. The trial is already in its ninth month. Supreme Court is New York state's trial-level court.

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