|The Ron Carey Campaign
OFFICE OF THE ELECTION OFFICER
September 23, 1997
VIA FACSIMILE (212-805-6301) with permission of the Court AND UPS OVERNIGHT MAIL
Honorable David N. Edelstein
Dear Judge Edelstein:
I write to inform the Court of allegations which I first learned on Friday, September 19, 1997, and my decision to recuse myself on a pending matter.
In the last few weeks, I received information as to witnesses who had not previously been available to me and who had information that could bear on the issue of disqualification. Believing I could complete a supplemental investigation and issue any findings expeditiously and prior to my resignation, I commenced this investigation last Thursday immediately upon the witnesses being made available to me. However, as a result of the information disclosed to me for the first time on Friday, September 19, I have concluded that I must recuse myself from any further investigation in this matter as explained below.
On Friday, September 19, we interviewed Martin Davis. Mr. Davis has pleaded guilty to criminal charges involving his actions on behalf of the Carey Campaign. At our interview, Mr. Davis alleged that he had solicited, through an intermediary, and then received a $20,000 cash donation for the Carey Campaign from a prominent labor relations figure. This contribution was not reported on the Carey Campaign's Campaign Contribution and Expenditure Report. The United States Attorney's Office had learned of this allegation from Mr. Davis prior to Friday's interview.
The alleged donor has had a professional association with a member of the Election Office's investigative staff, and the alleged donor was aware of the fact that this individual works for the Election Office. Prior to Friday, September 19, the Election Office investigator had no knowledge of the allegation nor of the conduct alleged, and does not know if the allegations are true.
Mr. Davis also indicated on September 19, for the first time to the Election Office and the United States Attorney, that he had a conversation with the "Executive Director" of the New Party in Wisconsin in January or February of 1997. Mr. Davis alleged that he spoke to this person, whose name he could not recall, to discuss a potential contribution swap whereby the New Party would identify a wealthy contributor who would make a contribution to the Carey Campaign by paying a portion of their debt owed to the November Group. In return, Mr. Davis represented he would get them a contribution from the Teamsters Union. Mr. Davis reported that no further discussion or action occurred because the criminal investigation began at this time. Neither the United States Attorney's Office nor I had any knowledge of these allegations prior to the Friday interview, and I have no knowledge if these statements are true.
I have concluded that these new allegations create the appearance of a conflict of interest for the Election Office investigator and me in investigating these allegations. Because findings based on these allegations may bear on the issue of disqualification, I cannot continue to conduct the supplemental investigation on disqualification.
It is critical that a decision on the issue of disqualification be completely free of any appearance of a conflict of interest. The matters I brought to your attention on June 6, 1997, were sufficiently remote from the investigation then pending that I concluded there was no conflict of interest or appearance thereof. As I stated in my June 6 letter to Your Honor, and continue to believe, the matters then disclosed would not and did not impair my ability to properly investigate and impartially render my decision on the post-election protests. Nor do I believe the contacts disclosed in that letter could seriously be argued to have created an appearance of a conflict. No one sought my recusal from the case based on the information I provided to the Court and the parties.
However, the latest revelations include facts that suggest the schemes of the Carey Campaign may have involved a professional associate of one of the Election Office's investigative staff and an organization to which I belong, the New Party, which was previously thought to have been unconnected in any way to the protest investigation. Whether or not these allegations are true, the fact that they have been asserted at this point in the investigation places me in an untenable position with respect to the investigation and issuance of any supplemental decision on the matter of disqualification.
Based on the foregoing, I must immediately recuse myself from the supplemental investigation and any further decision on the disqualification issue.
With the submission of the Election Officer's reply brief today, Application X for approval of a rerun election plan is now before the Court. The appeals of the post-election protest decisions were heard last week, with the exception of the issue of disqualification, and are pending before Election Appeals Master Conboy. These tasks having been completed and with my recusal from the supplemental investigation, my resignation will be effective September 30, 1997.
I appreciate the opportunity to have served the court.
Barbara Zack Quindel Election Officer
BY FACSIMILE AND UPS OVERNIGHT MAIL
Mary Jo White, United States Attorney