Court to Decide on Unsealing Papers Linked to Cubic Probe

Times Staff Writer

U. S. Magistrate Irma E. Gonzalez has scheduled a hearing Feb. 10 in U. S. District Court in San Diego to determine if sealed documents linked to a Department of Justice criminal investigation into defense contracting practices at Cubic Corp. should be released.

According to court filings made Wednesday in San Diego, federal investigators have “in part” completed the investigation that became public knowledge June 14 when FBI agents searched the San Diego office of C. C. (Sam) Wellborn, president of Cubic Defense Systems, a Cubic Corp. subsidiary.

The Department of Justice “no longer opposes unsealing certain portions” of documents that have remained sealed since that search, according to the filing by Assistant U. S. Atty. Joseph J. Aronica. The Justice Department suggested that Gonzalez might elect to keep the search warrant and accompanying affidavits sealed in order to protect the “privacy interests” of individuals and companies named in the documents.

‘Takes No Position’


However, the federal government “takes no position at this time respecting whether any such interest justifies” keeping the documents sealed, according to the filing.

Gonzalez ruled Thursday that the documents would remain sealed at least until Feb. 10, when Cubic and other parties named in the documents are expected to argue that the documents should remain sealed.

Cubic spokesman Jerry Ringer has repeatedly declined to comment on the documents or any future court action to keep them sealed. However, Cubic already has decided to oppose unsealing the documents, according to Assistant U. S. Atty. George Hardy.

Gonzalez, who in early June issued the warrant that FBI agents used to search Wellborn’s office, subsequently denied requests by Cubic and media representatives to have the documents unsealed.

Homes, Offices Searched

The Cubic search was part of a nationwide investigation that eventually included searches of nearly 40 homes and offices belonging to defense industry executives, government officials and defense industry consultants.

As part of that investigation, federal agents on June 14 searched the Washington-area offices and home of William Galvin, a defense industry consultant who has been employed by Cubic and who has emerged as a key figure in the investigation.

Galvin funneled illegally obtained information to Wellborn and other defense industry executives in return for cash, according to court documents released last week by a federal court in Maryland.

Those court documents included information gleaned from wiretaps on the telephone and bugs in the office of Victor Cohen, a top Air Force official who allegedly passed information along to Galvin.