Commission Refuses To Ease Parole Restrictions On Former Congressman
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The U.S. Parole Commission on Tuesday refused to ease parole restrictions on former Rep. George Hansen, R-Idaho, who has been on a hunger strike since last week when he was jailed for violating those limitations.
″This puts the focus on the White House,″ said Hansen, 56, who served seven terms in the House. He wants a pardon from President Reagan.
The commission’s decision stems from Hansen’s petition for unsupervised parole and exemption from filing financial reports. The decision has been pending since Hansen was released from Petersburg Federal Corrections Facility in Virginia last December.
The commission voted 8-0 against his request, said Justice Department spokesman Joe Krovisky, who said the restrictions on Hansen are standard for all federal parolees.
In 1984, Hansen was convicted by a federal court jury on charges of falsifying financial disclosure statements to Congress. He surrendered in June 1986 at the Petersburg facility to begin serving a five- to-15-month sentence, and was paroled in December.
While the parole commission met, six Hansen supporters rallied outside the office.
″We are all very disgusted over what is happening to Mr. Hansen right now,″ said Lisa Lashaway, spokeswoman for a group called the National Coalition of IRS Whistleblowers. ″It (Hansen’s recent arrest) happened on April 15 (the tax filing deadline), which is no accident. Mr. Hansen is a very outspoken critic.″
Hansen has charged that he was arrested last week because of his criticism of the Internal Revenue Service, the prison system and the Justice Department.
He said he must travel to pursue his consulting business and he needs exemption from filing financial forms because he receives money from supporters of a political movement against big government and they would not want their names turned over to federal officials.
Others who rallied in his support Tuesday included members of groups called the American Coalition of Unregistered Churches and Metropolitian Committee on Worldwide Community Action.
Hansen was arrested by federal marshals in Omaha, Neb. after speaking to a group of supporters. He has been in the Alexandria, Va., City Jail since Thursday awaiting a decision from the regional office of the parole commission on whether his parole should be revoked.
Krovisky said that decision may not be issued until next week. Until then, Hansen will remain in jail, he said.
Hansen was in the sixth day of his hunger strike Tuesday. He said jailers give him food three times a day and won’t let him give it to other prisoners.
″They just let it sit there and try to tantalize you,″ said Hansen. ″But the food isn’t such quality that I would want to eat it.″
The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Hansen, who said he lost 75 pounds while in federal prison, said he didn’t eat much then out of self-protection because he believed the food had urine and nasal mucus in it.