Lyn Nofziger, a former top political aide to President Reagan, wrote a White House official asking for help in persuading the Army to approve a $31-million contract for a Bronx company, the New York Times reported today.
The newspaper quoted government documents as saying that Nofziger wrote the letter four months after leaving his job with the Reagan Administration.
Former Administration officials are prohibited by law from lobbying their old agencies for at least a year after they leave office.
The newspaper said Nofziger and his partner, Mark Bragg, later were paid in company stock for their intervention on behalf of the Wedtech Corp.
Stock Value $720,000
When Wedtech later went public, the stock would have had a value of $720,000, but how much was realized from the eventual sale of the stock was not known, the paper said.
The newspaper said that in May, 1982, Nofziger wrote to deputy White House counselor James Jenkins asking for help in getting the contract for Wedtech to produce a 6-horsepower engine for military use. The firm later got the contract.
Jenkins, who left his government post in May, 1984, and is now in private business in Washington, was the top aide to Edwin Meese III, then one of the President’s closest advisers as White House counselor and now the attorney general.
Signature Called Genuine
In an interview, Nofziger examined the letter and confirmed that it and his signature were genuine.
“It’s a letter from us, signed by me,” Nofziger was quoted as saying.
But he said he could not remember the letter and said that while recovering from a stroke suffered May 4, 1982, he signed letters prepared for him by his staff.
Nofziger and Bragg said they were not aware who might have written the letter if Nofziger did not write it.
Nofziger said he had discussed the contract with other government officials but did not “recall talking to anybody at the White House about this. We tried to be so careful on this.”
As to whether he had a copy of the letter and other correspondence on Wedtech, he said, “my secretary can’t find my 1982 letter file.”
White House spokesman Peter Roussel declined comment, saying the matter was under investigation.