Time: Fri Sep 12 16:12:18 1997
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	Fri, 12 Sep 1997 11:22:35 -0700 (MST)
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 11:22:25 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Arizona: The inside scoop on the Symington Trial (fwd)

>The Daily Wildcat
>University of Arizona
>September 9th, 1997
>The Symington Trial: Beyond the Superficial Glance
>by Rachel Alexander
>Now that the trial of Governor Symington has reached its inevitable 
>conclusion, the city newspapers solicit and publish the opinion of 
>selected residents regardless of their knowledge of the facts behind the 
>trial. "I haven't been following the case, but I'm sure he got what he 
>deserved" is a typical quote. It appears that everyone in society is 
>entitled to voice their opinion on a topic, no matter how uninformed 
>they are on the subject. The question remains in the minds of critical 
>thinkers, what were the facts that led to the indictments and was the 
>trial and its eventual outcome reasonable?
>In 1995 Symington filed for bankruptcy because his real estate 
>investments did not produce enough income to allow him to sustain the 
>loans. Despite the fact that this was a fairly common occurrence, 
>because of the real estate slump at the time, and Symington only one 
>part of the failed Southwest Savings & Loan, which was responsible for 
>most of his loans, S & L Regulators encouraged the FBI to investigate 
>Symington individually for criminal wrong-doing. The FBI coincidentally 
>dropped its probe against Southwest Savings & Loan later (regarding the 
>Esplanade real estate), yet Symington was found guilty by the jury on 
>four counts involved here.
>Since there was no specific statute which Symington violated, the 
>prosecution turned to broad ones, cleverly using words such as "fraud" 
>and "extortion" in the hope that the media would run with the story and 
>spread negative propaganda for them. I originally had a difficult time 
>associating the newspaper headlines with the text of the articles 
>because the substance of a given article would not support the 
>accusation made by the headline.
>The 21 counts against Symington were repetitive accusations that he 
>submitted differing valuations on his personal financial statements for 
>the property he owned to his various lenders. There are no strict 
>guidelines or laws regarding this reporting and the range of values of a 
>given property will depend on the time and type of the appraisal. 
>Additional factors to consider are the cost of improvements, the 
>predicted cost of improvements, the length of time the property has been 
>on the market, and whether the value specified is the estate taxation 
>value, the sale of property value, or the real estate taxes condemnation 
>value. These were the difficult concepts that the jurors were asked to 
>grapple with, and none of the jurors came from a real estate background.
>The media treatment of Ms. Jane Cotey, the juror who was dismissed 
>during final deliberations, clearly shows a hidden agenda. Only one 
>paper out of five read by this author, the Mesa Tribune, actually 
>interviewed her. This interview revealed that juror Cotey was leaning 
>toward acquittal on all of the counts against Symington. The jury needed 
>unanimity to find Symington guilty on even one of the charges. It is 
>easy to find against the "rich Republican guy," especially when the jury 
>is composed of 6 registered Democrats and only 3 registered Republicans.
>Amazingly, the major Arizona newspapers did not bother to interview 
>Cotey herself, but instead took the word of the other jurors who said 
>she was unable to grasp the complexities of the testimony. There were 
>two different explanations for the juror's removal, yet little or no 
>credence was attributed to Cotey. This is unfortunate, because I believe 
>her dismissal, under the circumstances, is the reason why this case will 
>be remanded for retrial on appeal, to the surprise of the media and 
>their misinformed readers.
>One bit of irony that has not gone unnoticed is how diligently the U.S. 
>Attorney and press have pursued Symington when, in another failed real 
>estate deal involving a high government official and his wife, there 
>seems to be less enthusiasm and zeal in the search for the truth. One 
>does not have to look too hard to see the media bias when it comes to 
>protecting the Clintons, even with ample evidence and numerous 
>convictions of other key players in the Whitewater scandal. Clinton and 
>his partner at the time, James McDougal (currently in federal prison), 
>purchased a piece of land in Arkansas as a joint venture. Clinton 
>contributed only $500 of his own money. The rest was paid for with loans 
>from several banks. These loans were then repaid with loans from 
>McDougal's Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan, who had as their attorneys 
>the Rose Law firm of which Hillary was a partner. When Madison failed, 
>U.S. taxpayers picked up the tab. 18 USC 1344 makes it a crime to obtain 
>funds from a federally insured lending institution under false or 
>fraudulent pretenses. Unlike Symington's sprawling Phoenix developments, 
>Clinton produced nothing out of Whitewater.
>It is unfortunate that the media has co-opted the facts in this trial. 
>>From the beginning, the media has portrayed Symington as a crook, 
>declaring him guilty before the trial even started. Their 5-star effort 
>has got Republicans tripping over Democrats in the rush to apologize to 
>the media regarding Symington. It is sad when partisan politics, and the 
>mean desire to see someone fail because they are successful, outweigh 

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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