Grand Jury Leak by Smith Aide Alleged


New allegations that the state attorney general campaign of San Francisco Dist. Atty. Arlo Smith manipulated a high-profile investigation for political ends have surfaced in court documents filed this week.

Moreover, Smith's campaign manager, Marc Dann, is accused in one of the sworn affidavits of having disclosed secret grand jury information to political campaign consultant Richard Schlackman, one of five men eventually indicted by a San Francisco grand jury for campaign financing violations in connection with a referendum to build a new stadium for the Giants baseball team.

The sworn affidavit, filed by Schlackman, states that on one occasion, Dann "told me what had transpired in the grand jury proceedings that day." Ballpark foe Schlackman also swore that Dann told him that the stadium investigation was being pursued "because of the extraordinary publicity it was generating. . . ."

A hearing has been scheduled for next Thursday in San Francisco in which a Municipal Court judge will consider defense motions to have the case thrown out because of alleged prosecutorial misconduct. The judge has rejected similar defense motions in recent months.

Meanwhile, the campaign of Los Angeles Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner--Smith's foe in the June Democratic primary--called on Smith Wednesday to file misdemeanor charges against Dann for the alleged leak of grand jury information.

"A possible crime has been brought to the attention of the district attorney's office that has been committed by his campaign manager," said Reiner's campaign manager, Sam Singer. "We want to know if he's going to do the right thing."

The allegations come in the wake of Reiner's campaign being buffeted this week by charges that the Los Angeles prosecutor attempted to further his own political ends by leaking information to the media in the case of Erik and Lyle Menendez, who are accused of murdering their parents in their Beverly Hills mansion. Reiner also was blasted this week by the judge in the McMartin Pre-School molestation case for having a member of the district attorney's staff contact the jurist while he was on an out-of-town trip last week.

Smith could not be reached for comment on the "Ballpark 5" case Wednesday. Dann called the charges contained in the affidavits "unadulterated lie(s)."

"I didn't know what went on in the grand jury, not that I would have told him if I did," said Dann of Schlackman, a political consultant who is a distant relative of Smith's and who once served on the Smith campaign staff. "These are affidavits that have no other purpose than to create bad press for me."

The defense charges that the ballpark indictments amount to selective prosecution because Smith does not usually investigate misdemeanor election offenses. Court documents reveal that last December, a month after the ballpark referendum was defeated, Dann contacted Smith's chief deputy to urge that the investigation be accelerated.

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