« PreviousContinue »
Q. Discuss your employment?
A. Discuss my employment. Being that we have many cases in New York pending, I was trying to continue on the payroll here and work in New York because we have close to a thousand complaint cases in the New York office.
Q. In whose New York office?
A. In the committee New York office when it was there. We used to be at Lexington and 45th Street in the post office building for almost 2 years.
Q. Am I correct in understanding that you asked Mr. Powell if you could work in New York for the committee rather than in Washington?
A. Rather than in Washington; right.
A. He said that I couldn't do any work in New York because the committee was not allowed to continue operations in the New York area; that I have to move to Washington if I want to come into the committee again.
Q. Did you agree to move to Washington?
A. I was ready to move to Washington provided my wife would come to live with me here.
Q. But you went on the committee payroll on April 1?
Q. Now, did you make any travel on airline tickets purchased by the committee during the month of March 1965, before you went on the committee payroll?
A. I was coming two or three times every week.
Q. I show you, Mr. Vidal, a ticket on Eastern Airlines, the Washington-New York shuttle, coupons 1 and 2, indicating a round trip between Washington and New York. The first coupon shows Washington to New York on March 1 and the second, New York to Washington on March 4 in the name of Alfredo Vidal, and I ask you if you can identify that ticket as one that you used on the dates indicated for the travel indicated?
A. Yes; this ticket I get from the committee to go to New York and come back, and one ticket to go to San Juan, P.R., and get ready my wife to move into Washington.
Mr. TAYLER. That ticket will be marked “Vidal Exhibit 1."
(The above-referred-to document was marked “Vidal Exhibit 1.")
By Mr. TAYLER:
A. In those days I was short of money. I had been out of the committee for a long time and I asked Mr. Powell that I don't have enough money to go back to Puerto Rico and come back-to go and come back.
Q. We are talking about a trip between Washington and New York.
A. Because I talked to him about it, my situation. He said, “I will give you transportation to San Juan and New York and see if you can arrange to come from New York.”
Q. This is before you went on the payroll?
Q. Do you know whether or not Mr. Powell knew that you were not yet on the payroll when he authorized the issuance of that ticket to you?
A. That I don't know. I don't know.
Q. When was it that you were told by Mr. Powell that you were going to be appointed?
A. Well, since March I was told that I was-
A. Before I used this ticket I was told by him that I was going to be appointed in the committee.
Q. Did he tell you when your appointment would be made?
A. I was supposed to start in the committee in the month of March, but being that I have things to do in New York and Puerto Rico, I couldn't come until April.
Q. Did you tell Mr. Powell?
Q. Did you tell Mr. Powell that before he authorized issuance of that ticket to you?
A. That I don't recall. I don't recall.
Q. Mr. Vidal, I show you another airline ticket on Eastern Airlines for travel in the name of Alfredo Vidal from New York to San Juan on March 5, 1965. I ask you if you used that ticket to make a trip between the points indicated thereon?
A. I used this from New York to San Juan. I used this ticket. On the remaining portion I may have used it
Q. I didn't hear that. What?
Ă. I used this ticket to go from New York to San Juan but the other portion of the ticket
Q. The return ticket? .
A. The return ticket, I may have used it on some other airline because in those days I was coming back and forth from Puerto Rico constantly. In fact, I should say that in the months of March and April I made two or three trips to Puerto Rico and many trips from Washington to New York, back and forth. .
Q. This ticket was also used prior to the time that you were appointed to the committee?
A. Yes; I was appointed in April and this ticket was issued in March.
Q. Now, who gave you that ticket?
Q. Will you describe the circumstances under which Mr. Powell arranged for you to travel at committee expense on March 5?
A. I told him that I have to go to Puerto Rico to see if I can move my family in here to Washington. I was short of time so he issued me those tickets to go back and forth. Apparently I was supposed to pay these tickets back to the committee when I started to work.
Q. You say "apparently." Did you have an understanding with anyone on the committee, or with Mr. Powell, that you would reimburse the Government for the price of that ticket?
A. I told him that if I start to work I will arrange for to pay these tickets.
Q. As a matter of fact, you did go on the committee payroll on April 1?
A. That is correct, sir.
Q. Did you ever reimburse the Government for any part of that ticket?
A. No, I never did.
Q. The audit conducted by this committee of the airline records and of the travel by the House Education and Labor Committee indicates that the return portion of that ticket was never used and never turned in for refund. Can you account for that, Mr. Vidal?
A. Well, I think I might have used that other portion of the ticket through some other airline because I was not traveling by Eastern only. I was traveling Eastern, Pan American, and Trans-Caribbean. I used any line.
Q. If you used it, Mr. Vidal, did you use it during the month of April 1965, while you were employed by the committee?
A. I cannot recall if I used that portion of the ticket in those same months, but it may be so.
Q. Did you use the return portion of that ticket at any time on committee business when you were traveling on committee business?
A. Well, I was traveling just to make myself available in Washington, to move in here.
Q. Did you make any travel at all while you were on the payroll of the Education and Labor Committee, on committee business?
A. On the months of April-
A. No official travel. I came to Washington in those days several times and I used to stay at the Congressional Hotel because I was trying hard to move into Washington because otherwise I was told that I couldn't stay in the committee if I don't move into Washington.
Mr. Hays. Did I understand counsel to say there is no evidence that the other half of that ticket has ever been used?
Mr. TAYLER. That is right, yes.
Mr. HAYS. If it hasn't been used, then obviously it would follow he didn't use it, wouldn't it?
Mr. TAYLER. He said that he probably did.
Mr. Hays. I don't care what he says. I think the witness is trying to be honest but if he used it it would show up because the airlines don't throw those things in the wastebasket.
Is it possible, Mr. Vidal, that that unused portion is lying around somewhere where it could be turned in for a refund to the committee? Do you think that is possible?
The WITNESS. I don't really recall, but to the best of my knowledge I might have used this portion of that ticket in some other airline.
Mr. Hays. I understood you to say that, but the point I am trying to make is, if you had used it, it would show up, but it doesn't show up.
The WITNESS. In no airline whatsoever? Mr. Hays. No, in no airline whatsoever. My point is, maybe it is lying around some place and somebody forgot about it.
The WITNESS. Maybe I have it some place.
The WITNESS. I don't remember.
Mr. Hays. It might be well for you to check your records and if you have it, mail it up here and we will turn it in. It is a valuable piece of paper if it hasn't been used.
The WITNESS. That is right, sir. I was so sure that I have used the whole ticket. Now that there is no record on any airline, I can't answer. It is 2 years back. I might have it some place, but if I do find it in my papers or any place in Puerto Rico, I will send it to the committee.
Mr. Hays. Off the record.
By Mr. O'CONNOR: Q. As I understand it, you went down on March 5 to arrange with your family to bring them to Washington; is that correct?
A. On the month of March, yes, sir.
Q. That airline ticket is March 5 so that would be the day you went down; is it not?
A. Yes. Maybe so.
Did you stay down in Puerto Rico after that?
You went back to New York several times?
Å. After that month–I don't recall exactly. It was a letter from Congressman Powell.
Mr. Hays. Just a minute, Mr. Counsel. Maybe we better back up because I don't think he understood. The question was: After April 1—or, in other words, during the month of April—did you perform any services for the committee?
The WITNESS. No services, but I was coming into the committee office from New York.
By Mr. O'CONNOR: Q. Were you doing something for the committee when you were on the payroll during the month of April?
A. I was coming into the committee office of Washington trying to arrange for my wife to come to Washington and in those days, since I was living in New York, I was coming into the Washington office two or three times every week in the month of April. Not rendering services to the committee, just hanging around to see if we can work out something to bring my family into Washington.
Q. You received some money during the month of April? You received a paycheck?
A. I think so. I received a check for that month.