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Abuse Allegations Have Complicated Story of Franklin's Collapse - Mar 18, 1990 - Omaha World-Herald

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Mar 18, 1990 Abuse Allegations Have Complicated Story of Franklin's Collapse; [Sunrise Edition] Robert Dorr. Omaha World - Herald. Omaha, Neb. pg. 11.a

Full Text (621 words)
(Copyright 1990 Omaha World-Herald Company)
Two stories on one Basis Record.

One of the three people who made accusations of child abuse linked to the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union was convicted on a bad-check charge, and a second person was involved in a juvenile court matter, an official close to the Franklin case said Friday.

None of the three people - two males and a female - who gave videotaped statements to the Legislature's Franklin committee has been granted immunity from the chance of future criminal prosecution, two people close to the case said.

In a court motion filed Thursday, Douglas County Attorney Ron Staskiewicz asked to be excused from prosecuting Franklin child-abuse allegations before a new county grand jury, which is to convene March 12. Staskiewicz said he agrees with Nebraska Attorney General Robert Spire that a special prosecutor should be named.

Douglas County's district court judges will meet Monday to discuss Staskiewicz's request.

Staskiewicz, as one reason for his request to withdraw, mentioned his office's previous contact with two of the Franklin witness-victims.

The Staskiewicz court motion discusses two people:

One person who has been convicted of a felony after prosecution by the county attorney's office, the court motion said. The felony involved a 21-year-old woman convicted on a bad-check charge and now imprisoned at the Nebraska Center for Women at York, sources familiar with the case said. Prosecution as a felony indicates that the case's circumstances might have included more than writing an insufficient-funds check, a source said.

The second person "was the subject of legal proceedings" initiated by the Douglas County Attorney's Office, the motion said. The proceedings involved a matter in juvenile court, the source said.

Staskiewicz declined to disclose information about the two people that was not in his court motion. He declined to identify either one.

Meanwhile, Spire said Friday that none of the three victim-witnesses has been granted prosecution immunity from future charges involving state law.

He said the decision on immunity should be turned over to the Douglas County grand jury and the prosecutor who will work under the jury's direction.

The lack of a guarantee of immunity for the three victim-witnesses has prevented law enforcement investigators from interviewing them.

A source knowledgeable about the federal investigation said there has not been any guarantee of immunity from federal prosecution.

Magistrate Rules Alice King Can't See Videotapes

A federal magistrate ruled Friday that Alice King, the wife of former Franklin Community Federal Credit Union executive Lawrence E. King Jr., is not entitled to view videotaped statements taken by investigators for a state legislative committee.

Mrs. King's attorney, Jerold V. Fennell, asked last month to be allowed to view the 21 hours of videotapes in which three witnesses made statements about physical and sexual abuse.

U.S. Magistrate Richard Kopf said he made his decision after reading a 45-page summary of the tapes prepared by FBI agents and also after reading a written argument from Fennell.

Mrs. King faces 12 counts of conspiracy and fraud. Her husband, who was manager and treasurer of Franklin when it collapsed in November 1988, faces 40 counts of conspiracy, fraud and federal income tax evasion growing from the alleged disappearance of more than $38 million in Franklin's treasury.

Neither King nor his attorneys asked to view the videotapes during a hearing Jan. 26.
In his ruling, Kopf said:

"Put simply, the pending case is based upon an indictment alleging economic crimes, essentially arising out of the alleged misappropriations of money from the Franklin Community Credit Union."

"The state legislative committee which took the statements appears, from the context of the statements, to be interested in matters not directly related to the allegations of the indictment presently pending in this court against Mrs. King."

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