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The CHAIRMAN. But your reservation was that you
would not continue any active management of Strobel & Salzman; is that right?
Mr. STROBEL. That is right. I resigned from the actual management. You can't be two places at once.
The CHAIRMAN. And that you would have no direct or indirect relations with the General Services Administration?
Mr. STROBEL. That is correct.
Mr. MALETZ. Now, Mr. Strobel, do you recall that on December 27, 1954, you were urged by the Office of Compliance of GSA to permit one of its special agents to obtain a list of Strobel & Salzman's clients by examination of the company records or at least that you yourself submit such a list!
Mr. STROBEL. No, sir, I do not remember such a request at that time.
Mr. MALETZ. Do you recall that on August 9, 1955, you were again urged by the special agent of the Office of Compliance to obtain a list of Strobel and Salzman's clients?
Mr. STROBEL. To my recollection, I got the first request for permitting one of his agents to go to the office and obtain the list of clients, I think it was early August or late July.
Mr. MALETZ. Did you permit the agent at that time
Mr. MALETZ. Now, these requests were made, were they not, to insure that you complied with section 6 of the standards of conduct, which requires every employee of GSA to submit complete information as to his outside connections?
Mr. STROBEL. Well, I would imagine that was the reason. Mr. MALETZ. Yes. Do you recall that it was not until August 30, 1955, over a year after your Government employment that you submitted to Mr. Mansure personally a list of your clients pursuant to Mr. Mansure's request?
Mr. STROBEL. That is correct. Mr. Mansure had spoken to me about that probably a month earlier. He thought I should get the list in, and I proceeded to make up the list, or have it made up.
Mr. MALETZ. Mr. Chairman, I offer in evidence the standards-ofconduct statement required to be signed by General Services Administration.
The CHAIRMAN. That will be received for the record.
(The standards-of-conduct statement referred to is as follows:)
GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
(Print or type)
Middle) STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
When an individuel accopte omployment with the Government, he also meo corporibillico over and above efficient and topel perform ence of his assigned duties. In the eyes of the public, his personal conduct, both of work and ot home, becomes a part of the reputation of the Government itself. Accordingly, it is the policy of the General Service. Administration that its employees shall be required, os e condition of their employment, to comply with the standards of conduct set forth below.
1. ETHICS. In all their dealings, employees shall so conduct
themselves as to permit no possible basis for suspicion of un othical business practices. The obligation to protect fully the Interests of the Government demands the avoidance of circumstonces which invite conflict between self-interest and integrity.
as offors of future omployment, which are made to influence official action, would, of course, constitute attomp od bribery, • Federal criminal offent..
8. FORMER EMPLOYEES. All transactions with this Administre
rlon in which any former omploye of GSA or any of its predo.
2. SAFEGUARDING INFORMATION. Adequate machinery hos
beon ostoblished for the proper dissemination of timely infor.
superior, on omployee shall not conduct any Government business, discussions, or negotiations, relating to matters of con cwn to this Administration, except on Government premises, or, when necessary, at other proper places of business,
9. GSA-EMPLOYEE TRANSACTIONS. Employut shall not por
ticipate in business troncoctions with this Administration, uither directly or indirectly, os principal, agent, truste, repro sontative, or attorney. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, purchases of personal and real property, lees holda, and procurement contracts.
10. REPORTING OF IRREGULARITIES. It is the obligation of
.och omplace to report immediately any apparent or us. poctod iregularity coming to his attention in connection with any operation of this Administration. Such roport shall be mode to the Director of Compliance, Control Office, or to the Compliance Division representative in the regional office.
4. OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT. The Director of Personnel in the
Central Office and Regional Directors in regional offices are authorized to approve o disapprove requests to pngage in outside employment. Except upon prior written approval of such official, or other official to whom approving outhority has been redelegated, omploymou shall not ongage in any outside employ ment or business activity, and in no Instance shall approval be grantod where such employment will involve conttia with Gov. arnmont interests. Employous shall not occ opt comuneration in any form from nongovernmental sources for the performance of official duties whether the time oxponded is a part of the nor mal working period, overtime, or off-duty hours.
11. INTERMEDIARIES. In all relations with the public, omployees
are prohibited from recommending or suggesting the use of any
S. FAVORITISM. Preferential treatment shall not be accorded
any person, firm, corporation, or other entity, in the conduct of official business.
12. MEETING FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS. All employees of the
Administration are expected to meet their iust obligations. GSA employees are required, as a condition of continuing et ployment, to make prompt payment of Federal income tax.
13. MONEY LENDING. The making of loons to a follow Govern.
mont employee or to anyone else on Govornment promises, at
6. OUTSIDE CONNECTIONS. Each employee shall submit to his
immediate superior a report of outside connections, listing all
14. GAMBLING. Gambling in any form on Government promises lo
15. USE OF INTOXICANTS. Intoxicants shall not be used or com
sumed on lessed or Government-owned premises under GSA supervision. Any employs found using or under the influence of Intoxicants while of work will be subject to disciplinary action.
7. GRATUITIES. GSA employous shall not accept any gratuity or
favor of ony nature whol soove, directly or indirectly, from any person, firm, corporation, or other entity, which has Jone, is doing, or proposes to do business with this Administration. Tentative or firm offers of money or other considerations, such
16. REFUSAL TO TESTIFY. Refusal on the part of a GSA om
ploy to testify before a congressional committee on the basis of possible selfIncrimination, or testifying but invoking can stitutional privilege during such testimony, constitutes a basis for dismissal.
hereby certify that I have read the complete text of the General Services Administration Standards of Conduct, and that I am familiar with the provisions contained therein.
GSA FORM 1179
GSA WASM DC 55-1163
Mr. KEATING. When were these standards promulgated?
Mr. MALETZ. Now, Mr. Strobel, are you acquainted with the architectural firm of Serge Petroff of New York City ?
Mr. STROBEL. I am.
Mr. MALETZ. That firm is actually an important client of Strobel & Salzman, is it not?
Mr. STROBEL. That is not exactly the full story, because we are probably a bigger client of that firm than Strobel & Salzman is of him.
Mr. MALETZ. Since May, 1953 could you tell us how many contracts Serge Petroff has given Strobel & Salzman?
Mr. STROBEL. No, I cannot.
Mr. MALETZ. I show you a list prepared by Mr. Schwarz, business manager of Strobel & Salzman, which purports to set forth the name of each client for whom Strobel & Salzman has done work since May 1953, the project on which the work was done, and the date the contract was entered into. Now, will you examine this list and tell us whether it is accurate, according to your best information?
Mr. STROBEL. Being made up by the office of Strobel & Salzman, I would assume this is correct.
Mr. MALETZ. Very good.
According to this list, on May 20, 1953, Strobel & Salzman was retained by Serge Petroff on the United States Envelope Co. project; on December 1, 1954, Strobel & Salzman was retained by Serge Petroff on the Ortho Pharmacal project; on January 5, 1955, Strobel & Salzman was retained by Serge Petroff for the Ethicon project; on August 31, 1955, Strobel & Salzman was again retained by Serge Petroff for presumably, again, another United States Envelope project; is that correct?
Mr. STROBEL. That is correct, yes. Mr. MALETZ. Therefore, since May 1953, Strobel & Salzman has been hired by Serge Petroff for four separate jobs; that is correct, is it not?
Mr. STROBEL. Right.
Mr. MALETZ. Now, Mr. Strobel, do you recall a conference on August 26, 1954, in Washington, D. C., concerning proposed alterations for a building at 70 Columbus Avenue, New York City, which was to be occupied by the Immigration and Naturalization Service ?
Mr. STROBEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. MALETZ. Do you recall that this conference was attended by representatives of the GSA and Immigration and Naturalization Service?
Mr. STROBEL. That is right.
Mr. MALETZ. And do you recall that the purpose of the conference was to present estimates and all pertinent facts on the building before occupancy by the Immigration and Naturalization Service ?
Mr. STROBEL. Well, I would like to explain that story in detail, if I may.
We at the time you said got a request from the Immigration Service that they wanted to abandon their occupation of Ellis Island, which they had occupied under the same circumstances for about 10 years or so. It was a costly operation that should be abandoned.
The Commissioner of Immigration had picked space in the building located at 70 Columbus Avenue, in New York City, a building that was totally rented by GSA. For the Service to go in there, it would mean establishing detention quarters and making a rather costly and large alteration to a building that we are renting.
The time schedule was set at a most unreasonable, short time. The conference, as you mentioned, was to establish what should be done, how much money it would cost, because GSA, to my recollection, did not have sufficient money in the budget to take care of that alteration. It would be on a reimbursable basis.
I might say that I personally objected to that move, as I considered it to be not wise for the Government to spend what would amount to $400,000 or more in a rented building.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, you felt it would cost upward of $400,000 to make the changes that the Commissioner of Immigration desired?
Mr. STROBEL. That is right, to make the building suit the occupation and the function of the service that previously was on Ellis Island.
Anyway, my objection to that was overruled, and we were ordered to proceed full steam. The Commissioner of Immigration pushed us just as hard as he could. In fact, some irregular activities had been started; so I had to call a special meeting, calling the immigration officials in, and I had the public buildings representative from New York down on the meeting, and the main purpose was to tell immigration what the procedure would be in order to get this space ready, and not necessarily let them do the way they wanted to.
They wanted to rush the act, so to say, and have a lot of work done without us knowing what we were to do.
So I told them that it must be done this way: First, we must have plans and specifications made so that the project is finalized; and we, then, on account of the time limit, might go in for a negotiated contract on a cost-plus-fixed-fee basis to have the work done.
My recollection is that we had 6 weeks to have the plans made and 3 months thereafter the work completed and ready for occupancy.
If you gentlemen were in the construction business, you would know that that would mean a rather unreasonable request.
Well, we proceeded, and they agreed to lay off, so to say, and not interfere with our operation, and we had to get the plans and the specifications made. That is a function that under our decentralized method of operation is delegated to the regions.
I recall—I do not know whether it was the same day or several days after—that I got a request from the Public Buildings official in New York would I send up 5 or 6 men, architects and engineers, right away to prepare plans and specifications for this project, because he did not have sufficient manpower to do the job at that time. I had to refuse him the request of men from our office to go up there because we do not have extra men sitting around doing nothing. They are all occupied and they are all scheduled for work.
So I told him, "Go out”
Mr. MALETZ. Who was "him”?
Mr. STROBEL. That would be Mr. Lawton; yes. I told him, "We cannot help you."
The CHAIRMAN. He is the deputy regional director of the Public Buildings Service ?
Mr. STROBEL. That is right, sir. I told him to go out in private industry, that is, private architects and engineers, and try to find somebody that would be willing to do this project under the circumstances, and when I told him that, I at the same time said, “You might contact Serge Petroff. I know him. If he is willing to take on the job, we will get it done.”
The CHAIRMAN. And you suggested the name of Serge Petroff — Mr. STROBEL. I suggested the name of Serge Petroff to him.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the man from whom you got this other business that was relayed to you before?
Mr. STROBEL. Well, in order to clarify that picture, I should probably say that he has gotten a lot more business from Strobel & Salzman than Strobel & Salzman has gotten from him in the past year.
Mr. MALETZ. Now, Mr. Strobel-I am sorry. Are you finished ? ? Excuse me.
Mr. STROBEL. So that was the end of my contact with that proposition, because the authority was delegated to the New York regional deputy to handle that type of work. He did get in touch with Petroff. The work, as has been indicated, was by no means attractive work, because it was tenant changes that had to do with ventilation, rearranging of interior space, new lighting, plumbing, and so forth.
In other words, it is the type of work that no architect can get any glory or build any reputation on. It is the lowest type and least attractive work in the architectural business.
Mr. Lawton negotiated a contract or an agreement with Mr. Petroff and he did perform the work, by putting all his effort-I think his whole office as well as his personal effort-on the project, and got the plans almost completed in the same set. At that time, a change of mind had taken place with the immigration authorities, and
The CHAIRMAN. Let us pause at this moment to ask you 1 or 2 questions about Mr. Petroff.
Mr. STROBEL. Yes, sir.
Now, did you instruct Mr. Lawton to give that contract, the architectural contract, to Serge Petroff?
Mr. STROBEL. No: I did not.
Mr. STROBEL. I gave him the name of Petroff. - Mr. LAWTON. You recall the meeting of August 26 with Mr. Lawton; do you not?
Mr. STROBEL. Was that the meeting where the immigration officials
Mr. MALETZ. Yes. Did you have a private discussion with Mr. Lawton after the meeting with Immigration and Naturalization officials?
Mr. STROBEL. That is possible; yes. That is possible.