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Ariz. Candidate Eyed for Arson Link

February 10, 2000

PHOENIX (AP) _ U.S. marshals are investigating whether a former Scottsdale City Council candidate who admitted fabricating most of his identity can be linked to a 1970 arson that followed an anti-war demonstration, The Arizona Republic reported Thursday.

Citing unidentified sources, the newspaper said authorities want to know whether Gary Tredway is actually Howard Lawrence Mechanic, one of a group of people arrested following the May 5, 1970, fire at a Reserve Officers Training Corps building at Washington University in St. Louis. The blaze happened after a Vietnam War protest. No one was injured.

At the time of the fire, Mechanic was a student at Washington University. He failed to appear in court after being released on his own recognizance. A warrant was issued for him in May 1972.

The newspaper quoted a source who knows Tredway as saying he admitted being Mechanic. The newspaper said it shared that information with federal authorities. Marshals Service spokesman Drew Wade in Washington confirmed Thursday that the tip had come from the Republic.

U.S. marshals had Tredway’s Scottsdale apartment under surveillance Wednesday, the paper reported. Wade would not comment Thursday on thier activities.

``The Marshals Service is certainly interested in the information that’s come to light and will do all we can to explore it,″ Marshals Service spokesman Dave Branham told the newspaper.

There was no answer Thursday at a Scottsdale number listed under Gary Tredway’s name.

Tredway dropped out of the race Monday and later admitted he lied about most of his identity, including his college background, birthplace and family background.

He told the Tribune, a newspaper serving suburban Phoenix, he assumed a false identity to cover up his past, which he claims is tainted by an unfair criminal prosecution.

Tredway first announced he was dropping out of the race because he suffered from leukemia, but then admitted that was a lie he made up to explain why he was ending his campaign. His decision came after the Tribune did a background investigation and started asking questions.

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