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General Convicted for Political Fund-Raising

by J. Orlin Grabbe

A Kentucky "Hackers vs. Politicians, Part II" investigation has resulted in one of the few indictments and convictions of a General in U.S. history.

The Fifth Column, which developed much of the information in connection with on-going BOPTROT investigations, are now tightening their noose around the neck of the current governor, Paul Patton. (Can you see him squirming?)

General Robert L. DeZarn, commander of the Kentucky National Guard from 1991 to 1995, was convicted by a jury in U.S. Circuit Court of lying to Army investigators about his political fund-raising activities.

DeZarn had retired after 29 years of military service in 1987, but was named adjutant general by Kentucky Governor Brereton Jones in 1991. DeZarn, for his part, raised funds for Jones' 1991 gubernatorial campaign.

The former Kentucky adjutant general, Gen. Billy Wellman, became a executive officer for Jones while Jones was lieutenant governor, then became Jones' state police commissioner and justice secretary. At a 1990 party at Wellman's house attended by DeZarn, Guard officers were strong- armed to contribute to Jones' campaign.

The military fund-raisers reportedly demanded $500 from each officer as the price of staying in the officer game, while much higher contributions were required for important promotions.

Another ex-Guard officer, Lt. Col. Clifford Childers, turned state's evidence after pleading to "a misdemeanor charge of promising another officer a promotion in return for a $500 contribution to Jones' campaign" (Lexington Herald-Leader, September 28, 1996).

The newspaper also notes: "Federal prosecutors have said Jones is not a target of the investigation."

Little do they know.

September 30, 1996
Web Page: http://www.aci.net/kalliste/