Gerald J. Gallinghouse
Gerald Joseph Gallinghouse, Sr.
|United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana|
January 1970 – 1978
|Nominated by||Richard M. Nixon|
|Succeeded by||John Volz|
|Born||June 27, 1920|
|Died||November 17, 2007 (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
|Alma mater||Southeastern Louisiana University|
Louisiana State University Law Center
|Branch/service||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.
Gallinghouse was one of four children of John W. Gallinghouse, a dairy farmer, 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 and in 1949-1950 the president of the alumni association. In 1978, Southeastern honored Gallinghouse as "Outstanding Alumnus of the Year".
Political and legal career
Gallinghouse was affiliated with the New Orleans law firm of Deutch, Kerrigan & Styles from 1948 until 1961. Governor Jimmie Davis named him president of the Orleans Levee Board, a position he held from 1960 to 1964, and in which capacity he was involved in hurricane flood protection, making hundreds of speeches on the need to be prepared of weather disasters. Gallinghouse served as a municipal judge in Orleans Parish for one year.
Originally a Democrat, 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. Fitzmorris never became mayor; he lost the Democratic nomination to incumbent Victor Schiro.
In 1968, Gallinghouse switched parties to work on the campaign of 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. He headed the group known as United Citizens for Nixon. After the presidential race, Gallinghouse became the state Republican finance chairman, having succeeded Allison Kolb, another Democrat-turned Republican figure. In 1969, Gallinghouse was the general chairman of the Louisiana State Republican Convention, at which U.S. Representative Dan Kuykendall of Tennessee's 9th congressional district (since disbanded) was the featured speaker.
In 1970, President Nixon appointed Gallinghouse as the prosecuting attorney for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and President Gerald R. Ford, Jr., re-appointed him in 1974. He remained on-duty for the first year of the Jimmy Carter administration as well. 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."
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, and the investors faced heavy losses. Gremillion lashed out at Gallinghouse: "He's trying to indict everybody for his own personal benefit." 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.
In that same year, 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. Downs benefited from a hung jury, which blocked his conviction.
Gallinghouse moved against Lewis Johnson, a New Orleans builder, major contributor to Governor Edwin Edwards, and a former highway department commissioner, and won a conviction for income tax evasion. In 1973, Gallinghouse prosecuted Orleans Parish District Attorney Jim Garrison for bribery involving pinball machines, but Garrison was acquitted.
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 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 $1,000 allowable limit that was in place at the time. Livingston won the special election held in August 1977 to succeed Tonry.
Gallinghouse also exposed what became known as the Great Grain Scandal in the mid 1970s, which netted seventy one convictions on fraud charges. Dishonest grain 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. Four large grain companies pleaded no contest and paid the maximum fines permitted of $10,000. 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.
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 centered on East Baton Rouge Parish.
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 lifestyle, stepped down to avoid attention to his own legal troubles. 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.
After his tenure as U.S. Attorney, Gallinghouse returned to private law practice in New Orleans.
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.
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, Michael Gallinghouse, Joseph Gallinghouse, Brooks Gallinghouse, Grayson Gallinghouse, and Eugenie Gallinghouse. His obituary does not indicate his cause of death, place of interment, nor his year of retirement from his law practice.
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