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The WITNESS. That is correct, the letter having been directed to the Clerk of the House and the Clerk of the House approving it and sending it to us, we followed the directions of the Clerk, who is the disbursing officer. Mr. DICKINSON. Is this usual, or customary, or unusual? The WITNESS. It is unusual, I would say. Mr. DICKINSON. Do you know of another instance when this occurred, where the chairman tells the disbursing officer of the House where to send an employee's check?
The WITNESS. I don't recall any.
Mr. Hays. She is an employee of his personal office and not of the committee.
Mr. DICKINSON. I will be glad to bring that out.
At the time when this direction was made, was she an employee of Mr. Powell on his personal staff, or of the committee?
The WITNESS. My recollection is that she was an employee of the Member, on his personal clerk-hire roll.
Mr. DICKINSON. As far as you know the rules of the House-does a Member have the authority to direct the Clerk to send the employee's paychecks to various places?
The WITNESS. The strict practice, actually, is to have the directions of the employee. We want to get the check to the employee. That is the sense of the law and we attempt to do that.
Mr. DICKINSON. I understand but, of course, coming out of these hearings will be various recommendations, I anticipate, for dealing with various matters and this will probably be one of them, as to the direction and control an employee may have of his own paycheck. That is the purpose of this question.
As the rules are now, a Member has the authority to direct the Clerk to send all his employees' paychecks to him personally if he desires.
The WITNESS. I would say "No." Mr. DICKINSON. Does he have the authority to direct the Clerk to send one employee's paycheck as he desires?
The WITNESS. Not unless the Clerk wants to comply with it. Mr. DICKINSON. I am talking about his authority now. The WITNESS. He has no authority. Mr. DICKINSON. If the Clerk decides to do it, he just does so at his own volition?
The WITNESS. That is correct. Mr. DICKINSON. He doesn't have to do it because the employee actually has a right to direct his own checks; is this correct?
The WITNESS. That is correct, and that is what we look for and to support that—of course, I have been here quite a long time; I have been here since I was a boy and I know the history of the clerk-hire law, and the purpose was to put the name of the employee on the check, changing it from the Member's control of it, to put the name of the employee on the check so that the employee would get the check and the money for the services of assisting the Member directly
Mr. Hays. Mr. Megill, is it customary in your office for employees to call your office and say, “Send my check to so and so” and have no further communication from them?
The WITNESS. No, sir; it is not customary.
The WITNESS. Not with my knowledge. It is not an approved practice if it is done
Mr. Hays. For example, suppose an employee in the Member's office had been going over after his check and would ask that it be sent to a bank, for example, by phone. Would you do that?
The WITNESS. No, sir. We would require a written card. We have a little card that accomplishes that, or a note in writing so that we can recognize the signature of the employee. We want the direction of the employee.
Mr. Hays. It has to be in writing? The WITNESS. Yes, sir. Mr. Hays. By the employee? The WITNESS. That is right. Mr. DICKINSON. Getting back to my line of questioning now, you say that a Member does not, by the rules of the House, have the right to direct an employee's check to be sent any place other than the employee?
The WITNESS. I would say under the intent of the law. It is not a rule. The law directs the Clerk of the House to make the disbursements. The Member does not have that right.
The fruits of the performance, the employer directs the individual, but the law is that the check go directly to the employee.
Mr. DICKINSON. In this instance then we have made an exception to this law as far as the clerk is concerned, haven't we, or your office has?
The WITNESS. There is a slight exception, on the direction of the clerk that the location be changed. From the Cannon Building to the Rayburn Building.
Mr. TAYLER. Mr. Chairman, if I could interrupt Mr. Dickinson, I think I can clear up something that I think perhaps isn't understood. May I? Mr. DICKINSON. Yes, please do.
By Mr. TAYLER: Q. At the time, Mr. Megill, that you received this January 4, 1966, letter from Mr. Powell directing that Miss Flores' paychecks be sent to room 2161 of the Rayburn Building, Mr. Powell's new office, instead of going to 429 Cannon House Office Building, his former office, did you have on file a written direction from Miss Flores that her paychecks be sent to Mr. Powell's office in the Cannon House Office Building?
The WITNESS. We did. We had a written directive from Miss Flores as early as about 1951. I have the cards there that could be supplied.
Mr. Hays. Then in that case this letter was merely changing the office suites and not anything new?
The WITNESS. Due to the change of the committee location; yes, sir.
Mr. Hays. So technically then the Member wasn't directing the clerk to send her check. She had already done that, is that right?
The WITNESS. She had already given directions.
By Mr. TAYLER: Q. Mr. Megill, to further clarify this, if you had received this January 4, 1966, letter, which I believe is now Megill No. 3, from Mr. Powell, directing you to send Miss Flores' paycheck to his office and at that time you had on file nothing from Miss Flores to send her paycheck to his office, would you have done so? Would you have changed the place to which Miss Flores' paycheck was being sent?
A. I would not have done so under our practice. Q. Under your practice? A. Yes, sir. We would not have observed that. Mr. DEVINE. I would like to ask counsel if there is any reason that the original 1951 card of authorization from Miss Flores has not beer. made part of the record here if it can be made available?
Mr. TAYLER. I had intended to bring that into the record through Mr. Megill and I believe our instructions to him this morning were & little bit remiss.
By Mr. TAYLER: Q. Mr. Megill, could you search your records and locate the original written instructions from Miss Flores to have her checks sent to Mr. Powell's office and produce a photostatic copy of it for the committee for insertion in the record here?
A. I will produce the cards that are on file that show the various steps in the change of direction.
Q. There would be more than one, you think?
Q. Would you produce all of those written instructions from Mis: Flores in that regard?
A. I will, sir.
The WITNESS. It seems to me it is 1951. I would like to refer to the record for that.
Mr. Hays. Without objection, put the exact date in the record later.
(The information requested, when received, will appear in the record at this point.)
Name Y Maxioru Diably. Elores.
City Washinata Zone .25. State.
By Mr. TAYLER:
A. The 1965 individual pay card photostatic copy which is before me is in all appearances an exact copy of the original. In fact, I assisted in the reproduction of this copy.
Q. That is a copy of the original pay card?
The same is true of the 1966 pay card which was also placed before me. The same statement applies to that card.
Q. Briefly, sir, am I correct in saying that these two pay cards show the gross salary for Miss Flores and deductions and the net salary that was paid to her for the 2 years 1965 and 1966 as a member of Congressman Powell's staff? Is that correct?
A. That is correct. It gives all the details in delineation of that payment.
Q. Now, sir, I am going to hand you what is marked in the record as "Dargans Exhibit 6” and ask you if you can identify that?
A. I can identify this, Mr. Counsel. It is a photostatic copy of the clerk hire appointment form of Representative Powell appointing Y. Marjorie Flores as a clerk effective January 3, 1965, at the annual basic rate of $7,500.
Q. Is that the only clerk hire appointment form that you found in your files for Y. Marjorie Flores during the years 1965 and 1966?
A. I didn't check that fact.
Q. Let me amend my question. Did you produce copies of all of the clerk hire appointment forms that are on file for Y. Marjorie Flores?
A. I did, and they were supplied to the committee, or the committee representative. All that are on file. I could have brought the personnel jacket that would have verified this, but we have supplied the committee with all appointments on file in our office.
Mr. TAYLER. May that be marked "Megill Exhibit 2''?
By Mr. TAYLER: Q. What does that clerk hire appointment form—what action does it reflect as having been taken by Mr. Powell? Here is another copy of it.
A. It reflects that he signed the appointment, that he designated Y. Marjorie Flores at the rate of $7,500 basic to be effective January 3, 1965.
Mr. DEVINE. A new appointment, or does she succeed someone, or herself?
The WITNESS. She succeeds herself. That is indicated on the face. There is no requirement that the oath be executed anewi come
Mr. DEVINE. It indicates she was on the payroll at some other figure?
The WITNESS. Yes; as indicated in the prior appointment supplied to this committee.
The back of the appointment indicates it was received in the office of finance January 5, 1965, at 8:36 a.m.
By Mr. TAYLER: Q. Was the basic pay of Miss Flores changed by your office in accordance with the instructions on that form?
A. They were, sir.
Q. Now, sir, do you know whether you have had any instructions from Miss Flores in your files for the distribution of her salary check?
A. Yes, sir, we have had a mail order that has varied through the years from, as I recall, about 1951. I wouldn't be sure of that date, but it goes well back. Mailing instructions.
Q. From whom?
A. The original instruction, as I recall it I didn't bring the records with me—was that it go to a certain bank here in the city. Later on that was changed on the card, to go to room 459, as I recall. This is all from recollection. I don't have the record before me. Then a few months after the committee moved to the Rayburn Building here—the number of the committee room escapes me for the moment, a letter came in from the chairman directing it be changed from 459 to this room number in the Rayburn Building. That letter was directed to the Clerk of the House of Representatives and was approved by the Clerk and transmitted to our office for execution and we changed the mailing slate from 459 Rayburn Building to the room number of the committee in the House-excuse me—the number in the Cannon Building to the number, the new number in the Rayburn Building.
Q. Prior to the time you received the letter from Mr. Powell that you have just described, you had on file instructions from Miss Flores to have her check sent to Congressman Powell's office?
A. 459; yes, sir.
Q. Then the only thing that Mr. Powell's letter did was to change the office address?
A. In accordance with the relocation of the committee.
Q. Have you, subsequent to Mr. Powell's letter, received any further instructions from Miss Flores with respect to the distribution of her paycheck?
I show you a copy of a letter you produced to the committeee here dated November 22, 1966, to the disbursing office from Y. Marjorie Flores. I ask you if you can identify that and answer my question?
A. This is a photostatic reproduction of the original letter received in the Disbursing Office directed to-I refer to it as the Disbursing Office. That is its former name. It was changed under reorganization about 2 years ago to the Office of Finance directed to the Disbursing Office, House of Representatives. Should I read it?
Q. Just a moment. Is that a copy of a letter in your files?
NOVEMBER 22, 1966.
GENTLEMEN: Effective immediately, please send me all my checks and correspondence from your office to the following address:
Y. Marjorie Flores, c/o Garcia, P.O. Box 324, Central San Vicente, Puerto Rico. Also please send me an application of retirement fund. Very truly yours,
Y. MARJORIE FLORES.