« PreviousContinue »
(The above-referred-to document was marked "Megill Exhibit 2" and received in evidence.)
Mr. Hays. Have you sent the check down to her?
The WITNESS. That was done. The November check was sent in accordance with that because it was sent in time for the November check to be sent so two checks have been sent under that directive.
By Mr. TAYLER: Q. Mr. Megill, I believe you advised me before you came on the witness stand here that your office does not maintain any records of any power of attorney or authorization that Miss Flores may have given to Congressman Powell to endorse her paychecks and deposit them in his bank account with the Sergeant at Arms; is that right?
A. That is correct. We are not such an office as would have such a communication and the only way we would be associated with that would be to supply the blank form to be deposited with the bank or the person who is to exercise the power of attorney. We have no connection with that whatsoever by law, rule, or otherwise.
Q. Do you have any knowledge of whether or not such a power of attorney or authorization is on file with the bank?
A. No, sir; I have no such knowledge.
Q. I hand you a letter dated January 4, 1966, to the Clerk of the House, Mr. Roberts, bearing the signature “Adam C. Powell” and ask you if you can identify that?
A. I can identify it as being an exact photostatic copy of an original that is presently in the Office of Finance which, of course, is part of the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Q. Is that the letter to which you previously referred from Mr. Powell, simply changing the office address to which Miss Flores' paychecks were to be sent?
A. It is, sir. It has every feature, even down to the "OK" by Ralph Roberts, with the “R” which is typical of his type of approval.
Mr. TAYLER. May that be marked "Megill Exhibit 3”?
(The above-referred-to document was marked "Megill Exhibit 3" and received in evidence.)
Mr. TAYLER. At this time, Mr. Chairman, I offer for entry into the record exhibits 1-A and 1-B, 2 and 3.
Mr. Hays. Without objection, they will be entered into the record at the proper place.
LOUISE MAXIENNE DARGANS.
Congress of the United States
ADAM C. POWELL, NEW YORK, CHAIRMAN
RUSSELL C. DERRICKSON,
January 4, 1966
Dear Mr. Roberts:
Would you kindly arrange to have the Disbursing Office revise
its mailing list so that the salary check of Y. Marjorie
Diago Flores is mailed to my suite in the Rayburn Building
(The documents previously marked "Megill Exhibits Nos. 1-A 1-B, 2, and 3” were received in evidence.)
Mr. TAYLER. I have no further questions.
Mr. DICKINSON. Do I understand you correctly, Mr. Megill, to say that the chairman of a committee has the authority to direct you to send employee paychecks anyplace he wishes?
The WITNESS. No, sir; you did not understand me to say that, or you should not have. I did not mean to say that.
Mr. DICKINSON. You did say that an employee of the committee had her paycheck directed by order of the chairman?
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?
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. 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. Hảys. Mr. Megill, is it customary in your office for employees to call your office and say,
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?
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.
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 been 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 a 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?
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.)