Gerald J. Gallinghouse

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Gerald Joseph Gallinghouse, Sr.
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana
In office
January 1970 – 1978
Nominated by Richard M. Nixon
Succeeded by John Volz
Personal details
Born (1920-06-27)June 27, 1920
New Orleans
Orleans Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died November 17, 2007(2007-11-17) (aged 87)
The Woodlands, Texas
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican (1968)
Spouse(s) Clara Van LeMaire Gallinghouse
Children Dr. Gerald J. Gallinghouse, Jr.

Van LeMaire Gallinghouse
Five grandchildren

Alma mater Southeastern Louisiana University

Louisiana State University Law Center

Religion Anglican Church
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Battles/wars World War II: European Theater of Operations

Gerald Joseph Gallinghouse, Sr. (June 27, 1920 - November 17, 2007), was from 1970 to 1978 a U.S. Attorney based in his native New Orleans, Louisiana, known particularly for his pursuit of political corruption in state government. He was sometimes called "the Bald Eagle" because of his lack of hair and his steadfastness in pursuit of bringing criminals to justice.[1]

He's trying to indict everybody for his own personal benefit, said Jack P. F. Gremillion of Gerald Gallinghouse, who replied that his objective was to clean up corruption in government. ... I am after crime.


Background[edit]

Gallinghouse was one of four children of the late John W. Gallinghouse, a dairy farmer,[2] and the former Leona Sutherland. After high school, he worked for a time in the shipbuilding industry in New Orleans. He graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, at which he was the president of the student body[1] and in 1949-1950 the president of the alumni association.[3]In 1978, Southeastern honored Gallinghouse as "Outstanding Alumnus of the Year".[4]

In 1948, he received his Juris Doctor degree from Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge.[1]

In 1941, Gallinghouse enlisted in the United States Navy, with assignments in the European Theater of Operations: North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and southern France. In 1945, he participated in the planned invasion of Japan, which never occurred after the dropping of the atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and V-J Day. While on military duty in various locations, Gallinghouse also pursued selective studies at Columbia University, the Harvard School of Business and the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.[1]


Legal career[edit]

From 1948 until 1961, Gallinghouse was affiliated with the New Orleans law firm of Deutch, Kerrigan & Styles. Governor Jimmie Davis named him president of the Orleans Levee Board, in which capacity he was involved in hurricane flood protection. He made hundreds of speeches on the need to be prepared of weather disasters. For a year, Gallinghouse was a municipal judge in Orleans Parish.[1]

Originally a Democrat, Gallinghouse switched parties in 1968 to work in the campaign for Republican Richard M. Nixon for the U.S. presidency even though his state voted that year for George Wallace, the former governor of Alabama, who ran as the nominee of the American Independent Party. Gallinghouse entered the race for mayor of New Orleans in 1965 but withdrew to support fellow Democrat Jimmy Fitzmorris, a veteran city council member and later the two-term lieutenant governor of Louisiana.[2] Fitzmorris never became mayor; he lost the Democratic nomination to incumbent Victor Schiro.

In 1970, President Nixon appointed Gallinghouse as the prosecuting attorney for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. In 1974, he was reappointed by President Gerald R. Ford, Jr. He remained on duty for the first year of the Democrat Jimmy Carter administration too.[1]

In a 1977 interview, Gallinghouse explained his conception of the U.S. attorney's office as an activist, not a passive, role: "A U.S. attorney can't sit back and wait for somebody to bring in a ready-made case."[5]

In 1972, Gallinghouse successfully prosecuted state Attorney General Jack P. F. Gremillion for perjury. Gremillion was convicted of lying to a federal grand jury about the insolvency of the Louisiana Loan and Thrift Corporation, which paid Gremillion $10,000 in legal fees. The company raised $2.6 million from small investors and lent the money to politicians and companies controlled by organized crime boss Carlos Marcello. The investors faced heavy losses.[6][7] Gremillion lashed out at Gallinghouse: "He's trying to indict everybody for his own personal benefit."[2] Gallinghouse denied that he had political ambition but said, merely, "I am after crime". He indicated that he would remain U.S. attorney so long as Nixon desired his services.[2]

In 1972, Gallinghouse obtained an indictment for bribery against C. H. "Sammy" Downs, a former state senator from Alexandria and director of the Louisiana Department of Public Works under Governor John McKeithen, for Downs' role in the Shoup Voting Machine Corporation scandal.[2] Downs benefited from a hung jury, which blocked his conviction.[8]

Gallinghouse moved against Lewis Johnson, a New Orleans builder, major contributor to Governor Edwin Edwards, and a former highway department commissioner, convicted of income tax evasion.[5]In 1973, Gallinghouse prosecuted Orleans Parish District Attorney Jim Garrison for bribery involving pinball machines, but Garrison was acquitted.[5]

In 1977, in an investigation of vote fraud, Gallinghouse forced the freshman Democratic U.S. Representative Richard Alvin Tonry of Louisiana's 1st congressional district to resign. Twenty-one polling commissioners pleaded guilty to having cast fraudulent votes for Tonry in the 1976 general election against the Republican attorney Bob Livingston. Tonry served six months in the Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery, Alabama, not for vote fraud, but for accepting individual campaign contributions in excess of the then $1,000 allowable limit.[5]Livingston then won the special election held in August 1977 to succeed Tonry.

Gallinghouse also exposed in the middle 1970s what became known as the Great Grain Scandal, which netted seventy-one convictions on fraud charges. Four large grain companies pleaded no contest and paid the maximum fines permitted of $10,000.[5] Dishonest inspectors began asking for modest, undetected kickbacks from the shippers to get grain approved for entry, but as business boomed, some were seeking $5,000 in bribes per ship.[9] As a result of these cases, Congress established a new system of grain inspections. Gallinghouse's work in this case brought favorable comments from U.S. Senator Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota, the Democrat who had lost the 1968 election to Gallinghouse's patron, Richard Nixon.[5]

Some of his investigations were stymied after Congress created the new United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, based in Baton Rouge, to reduce the caseload of the Eastern District. The change removed nine parishes, including the large one, East Baton Rouge, from Gallinghouse's jurisdiction. Gallinghouse persuaded the federal district judges to permit him to continue his jurisdiction in those nine parishes on the cases already under investigation. Much of the focus center on East Baton Rouge Parish.[2]

In September 1980, President Carter invoked the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to name Gallinghouse as a special prosecutor to investigate reports that Carter's campaign manager and former appointments secretary, Timothy Kraft, had formerly used cocaine. In the midst of the race against Ronald W. Reagan, Kraft, who was known in Washington, D.C., for his flamboyant life-style, stepped down to avoid attention to his own legal troubles.[10] Gallinghouse cleared Kraft of the allegation. A year earlier, another special prosecutor had similarly cleared Carter's chief of staff, Hamilton Jordan, of the same charge, but in a non-election year, Jordan had not been compelled to resign.[11]

Legacy[edit]

After his tenure as U.S. Attorney, Gallinghouse returned to private law practice in New Orleans.[1]

Gallinghouse's pursuit of corruption in government hurt his own career prospects. The American Bar Association rendered him an "unsuitable" designation, which may have kept President Ford from naming him to a vacant position as a U.S. District Judge. Ben C. Toledano, a New Orleans Republican figure who ran for mayor in 1970 and the U.S. Senate in 1972 and was a journalist for such publications as National Review, attributed the "unsuitable" rating from the ABA to the system of "anonymous comments" from attorneys in the big law firms in the New Orleans area who disliked the investigations that Gallinghouse had conducted.[5]

In his later years, Gallinghouse resided in The Woodlands in the Houston metropolitan area, where he died in 2007 at the age of eighty-seven. Services were held on December 1, 2007, at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home in New Orleans. Gallinghouse, who was Anglican, was survived by his wife, the former Clara Van LeMaire (born c. 1932); two sons, Gerald Joseph Gallinghouse, Jr., M.D., of Austin, Texas, and Van LeMaire Gallinghouse of New Orleans, and five grandchildren. His obituary does not indicate his cause of death, place of interment, nor his year of retirement from his law practice.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Gerald Joseph Gallinghouse". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f ""Gallinghouse's Goal: Fill Void, Clean Up State", April 28, 1972". New Orleans States-Item. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Past Alumni Presidents". selu.edu. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Outstanding Alumnus of the Year: Gerald J. Gallinghouse". selu.edu. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Bill Crider, "This U.S. Attorney defies patronage system - He stays", October 4, 1977". news.google.com. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  6. ^ "ES&S, Diebold lobbyists, July 21, 2005". bbvforums.org. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  7. ^ Life Magazine (Vol. 68, No. 13), p. 53
  8. ^ "Bill Lynch, "Garrison case [results in acquittal]", October 2, 1973". New Orleans States-Item. Retrieved June 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ Heinz Dietrich Fischer, ed., National Reporting, 1941-1986, Vo. 2 (Labor Conflicts), p. 271. New York City: K. G. Saur. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  10. ^ ""Nation: Kraft Drops Out", September 29, 1980". Time. September 29, 1980. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  11. ^ ""'78 Ethics Act Sets Procedure in Such Cases", April 3, 1984". The New York Times. April 3, 1984. Retrieved June 29, 2013.