TRAFICANT TRIAL Juror No. 8 calls report in newspaper inaccurate
Leo Glaser said he taped the subcommittee hearing and wants to review the tape.
By PATRICIA MEADE
VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER
CLEVELAND -- Leo Glaser said today that his vote to convict U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. stands.
Glaser, juror No. 8 in the federal district court trial in Cleveland, said his quotes in a newspaper story over the weekend were somewhat inaccurate.
He said he found the headline in the Cleveland Plain Dealer story -- "Traficant juror changes his mind; now convinced conviction was wrong" -- especially inaccurate.
Didn't change mind
The 54-year-old Independence, Ohio, man said the headline implies he changed his mind about the original verdict. He said he has not changed his mind based on the evidence presented.
"There was no other verdict than guilty on all counts," Glaser said today.
Glaser, though, said that had Traficant's co-defendant, Richard E. Detore, testified at trial as he did to a U.S. House ethics subcommittee last week, it would have provided reasonable doubt.
"It doesn't take much to give some reasonable doubt and Richard Detore's testimony would have been my reasonable doubt, but since he wasn't able to testify, it's irrelevant now," Glaser said. "I have no problem with my original verdict. I'll go to my grave saying that."
Last week, the committee, which used the congressman's trial transcript, found Traficant guilty of nine of the 10 ethics violations he faced and recommended his expulsion. The full House is expected to vote on the expulsion recommendation Wednesday.
Glaser said he videotaped the subcommittee hearing.
"I will be going over it to make sure I heard what I heard and if maybe I misconstrued something," Glaser said.
Detore, a Virginia engineer and pilot, described to the subcommittee allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. He said Craig S. Morford, lead prosecutor, wanted him to lie.
Morford said he categorically denies the accusation and said what Detore is claiming is not new. The accusation was brought to U.S. District Judge Lesley Brooks Wells' attention last year by Traficant and rejected by the judge, who called Detore's and Traficant's conversation -- recorded by Traficant -- staged and self-serving.
"The conversation was extraordinarily mutually self-serving," Judge Wells said in court papers. "It was an opportunity for defendant Traficant and Mr. Detor[e] to explain how each was not only innocent of all wrongdoing, but honorable, as well."
Detore said he had been offered immunity, but when he would not say what the government wanted, he was indicted. The government said he was never given immunity.
Detore once served as chief operating officer at USAerospace Group, owned by J.J. Cafaro of Liberty. Cafaro has pleaded guilty to providing Traficant, a Poland Democrat, with $40,000 in cash, gifts and boat repairs in return for the congressman promoting USAG laser-guidance technology with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Detore is accused of taking part in the bribery scheme with Cafaro, who will be sentenced next month. Detore's trial is set for Nov. 12.