• Attorney Says Bugliosi Is Liar, Unfit for Office

Attorney Says Bugliosi Is Liar, Unfit for Office

LOS ANGELES, May 8 – In a scathing personal attack, attorney George V. Denny III Tuesday accused Vincent T. Bugliosi, candidate for attorney general, of lying to the public, press and police and conspiring to fabricate false evidence.

Denny told a press conference at the Greater Los Angeles Press Club that he had appeared there with his wife to document his charges for the news media and the voters.

Press kits were handed out detailing Denny’ s charges in the so-called milkman case which broke shortly before the November, 1972, election and the case of a young divorcee who charged Bugliosi beat her.

Denny was involved in both cases.

In a general response to Denny’s specific charges, Mike Heaman, treasurer of Bugliosi’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, said Denny is a “hatchet man.”

Heaman declared that Bugliosi, prosecutor in the Charles Manson murder trial and unsuccessful candidate in 1972 for the post of Los Angeles County district attorney, did not want to “dignify these smear tactics by answering specific charges.”

Denny stated in response to a question at the press conference that he was “very definitely” out to destroy Bugliosi’s candidacy.

“I do not feel and I have said it, I said it in the last paragraph of my presentation, that this man is fit to hold any public office in the state of California, and if I have any means of doing it by bringing the truth out, I will do so…”

In an eight-page statement, Denny recounted the filing of a slander suit against Bugliosi by Herb and Rose Weisel in 1972 and said it had been settled for $12,500.

The attorney said Bugliosi apparently had become obsessed with the idea that Weisel had fathered the former deputy district attorney’s son while Weisel was employed as a milkman.

Denny claimed that Bugliosi harassed the Weisels “unmercifully” over a three-month period in 1969, using his position as deputy district attorney to obtain their unlisted telephone number and locate where Weisel worked.

When, according to Denny, Bugliosi heard the Weisels were going to hold a press conference four days before the voting for district attorney, the candidate “gave reporters a phony story.”

Denny said the public was supposed to believe Weisel was a suspect in the theft of $300 from Bugliosi’s home, a theft which the attorney said was never reported to police while Weisel was a milkman between October 1964, and January, 1965.

The Weisels sued on election eve, Denny said, and Bugliosi settled the case through an agreement requiring a $15,000 payment from anyone who disclosed the settlement’s terms or its existence.

“And when he paid to keep everyone quiet, his payments were all cash — $100 bills,” Denny said. “I know because I am the attorney who received the $12,500 in cash for the Weisels from Vincent T. Bugliosi.”

Denny said he was opening himself, his wife and their family to potential liability for the $15,000 payment in the agreement, described by the attorney as a “hush-money contract.”

And the attorney issued Bugliosi a challenge:

“If anything I have stated or will state in this news conference about you is not true, then sue me forthwith — immediately — for libel and slander…

“But do it now, Vince, well before the election, so that I can place you under oath in a civil deposition, a deposition that will be typed up and filed in court, not secreted or destroyed by you.”

Denny said that two weeks after Bugliosi’s final payment to the Weisels he (Bugliosi) was involved with Mrs. Virginia Cardwell, a divorced medical assistant who lived in a Santa Monica apartment.

According to Denny, Bugliosi had an affair with Mrs. Cardwell, gave her $450 in two postal money orders for an abortion, found she was not pregnant and broke into her apartment June 25, 1973, and beat and choked her.

Denny said that after the story became public, Bugliosi and his secretary went to Mrs. Cardwell’s apartment and persuaded her in a four-hour session to recant her story of the assault.

The attorney said Mrs. Cardwell agreed to a “scenario” describing her relationship with Bugliosi as purely that of attorney-client.

Mrs. Cardwell also agreed, Denny said, to tell Santa Monica police she had made up the entire story because Bugliosi had refused to refund her $100 she paid him for advice on delinquent child-support payments.

To substantiate Mrs. Cardwell’s story, Denny claimed Bugliosi’s secretary used the woman’s typewriter to prepare a false receipt of the payment.

Then, Denny said, Mrs. Cardwell repudiated her original statement to police, and the Santa Monica city attorney “came within a hair” of filing false-report charges against her. Later, he said, she repudiated her repudiation.

After criminal aspects of the case disappeared, Denny said, Mrs. Cardwell filed a civil action and once again, he said, Bugliosi settled the case by agreement.

Denny claimed Mrs. Cardwell received $5,000, plus retention of $450 given her for an abortion.

“I am no politician,” Denny said. “What I have said today may be too blunt for some people. I have used words like ‘liar’ and ‘perjurer’ and ‘fabricator of false evidence.’ I have used those words because they fit Bugliosi.

“And because they do fit him — and fit him so horrifyingly well — Vincent T. Bugliosi is unfit for the post he now seeks.”

In a statement issued on Bugliosi’s behalf, Heaman said that on the eve of every election Denny appears “as a political hatchet man.”

“It is clear that this vicious and irrelevant smear was dredged up by this man Denny at the specific direction of Dist. Atty. Joe Busch and Atty. Gen. Evelle Younger in an attempt to guarantee Younger’s reelection.

“The man who first circulated this smear in 1972 was Tom McDonald, Busch’s campaign manager. McDonald is now William Norris’ campaign manager and was placed in that position at Joe Busch’s direction.

“Busch and Younger obviously intended that a political character assassin like McDonald could give Norris’ hopeless campaign a boost by putting out innuendos, lies and smears.”

Norris is Bugliosi’s opponent in the current campaign for the Democratic nomination for attorney general.

Another Bugliosi aide, Ken Horn, said he was aware of a meeting between Denny and McDonald in 1972 to discuss the release of the story told by the Weisels.

Horn, now Bugliosi’s campaign manager, was involved on Busch’s behalf in the 1972 campaign. He said the meeting between Denny and McDonald was in George Lim’s restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.

In one of the final questions at Tuesday’s press conference, a newsman asked if Denny thought Bugliosi was “fit to practice law.”

“I will put it this way,” he said. “If Vice President Agnew is not fit to practice law, Vincent T. Bugliosi is not fit to practice law.”

Denny insisted in answer to a question that he represented only himself and his wife at the news conference, not Younger or Norris.


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