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Allegations Against Meese, Others in Collapse of Software Firm : U.S. Probing Possible Perjury in Inslaw Case

May 06, 1988|Associated Press

Bason also found that White may have mistakenly remembered events when he denied that Stanton pressured White to liquidate Inslaw. Bason ruled that "people do have a capacity to forget things when it is painful for them to remember--or maybe even inconvenient for them to remember."

The judge found there was "clear and convincing" evidence that Stanton retaliated by White's refusal by refusing to expand White's staff in Alexandria.

Anthony Pasciuto, a former Justice Department official who also testified in the Inslaw case, meanwhile, has provided a fresh allegation that Blackshear lied when he retracted his first story.

Pasciuto, who had been Stanton's deputy director for administration, charged that Blackshear told him last summer, "I felt the easiest thing I could do was recant."

"I felt less people would be hurt if I just bailed out," Blackshear was quoted as saying in a letter by Pasciuto's attorney, Gary Simpson, to the Justice Department.

"I thought that by changing my story I would hurt less people," Simpson quoted Blackshear as telling Pasciuto.

Retreated From Story

Pasciuto has since joined a New York financial firm. He left the government after the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility tried to dismiss him for violating department rules by talking about the Inslaw case with William Hamilton, the company's president, and Hamilton's wife, Nancy.

Pasciuto told the Hamiltons last year that he had information from Blackshear about pressure to liquidate the firm. But he retreated from this story during his courtroom testimony.

On the verge of tears in Bason's courtroom, Pasciuto had testified that he made up the story because he was angry with Stanton about delaying his long-awaited promotion.

Simpson included the charge about Blackshear in a March 17 letter he wrote to then-Assistant Atty. Gen. Arnold I. Burns to protest plans to fire Pasciuto, who was allowed to resign.

The conflicting testimony of Blackshear, White, Stanton and Pasciuto is the subject of the public integrity inquiry, according to sources.

Bason ruled that Stanton sought to liquidate Inslaw to "curry favor" with higher Justice Department officials after he spoke with C. Madison Brewer, who administered the Inslaw contract. His conduct has been the subject of a long-standing investigation by the department's Office of Professional Responsibility.

In a subsequent ruling last year, Bason concluded that Brewer was "consumed by hatred and an intense desire for revenge" because he had been fired by Inslaw before going to work for the Justice Department.

Bason ruled that Brewer and others in the department stole enhancements to Inslaw's case-tracking computer program known as PROMIS and engaged in "an outrageous, deceitful, fraudulent game of cat and mouse" designed to destroy Inslaw.

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