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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

APRIL 22, 1997

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Donald C. Smaltz, Independent Counsel In Re Espy, today announced:

   A federal Grand Jury sitting in the District of Columbia has returned a three-count criminal Indictment against RONALD HENDERSON BLACKLEY, the former Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). RONALD HENDERSON BLACKLEY is charged as follows with three separate false statement counts under Title 18, United States Code 1001.

   Count One of the Indictment charges that in June 1994, RONALD HENDERSON BLACKLEY failed to disclose the receipt of approximately $22,000 on his Public Financial Disclosure Report, as required by the Ethics in Government Act.

   Count Two of the Indictment charges that in November 1994, RONALD HENDERSON BLACKLEY, in a signed, sworn declaration, made false statements to agents of the Office of Inspector General, USDA, in order to conceal his receipt of approximately $22,000 after he became Chief of Staff of USDA.

   Count Three of the Indictment charges that in August 1996, RONALD HENDERSON BLACKLEY, in a written statement to the Office of Inspector General, United States Agency for International Development, falsely stated that after he became Chief of Staff of USDA in January 1993 he did not receive income from any other source.

   If convicted, RONALD HENDERSON BLACKLEY could be sentenced to a maximum term of five years' imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 per count.

   The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

   The Independent Counsel's investigation is ongoing.

NOTE: Copies of the Indictment are available from the Office of Independent Counsel.

 

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