Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Louisiana: Pardon Remembered

Theodore P. Mahne of the The Times-Picayune has put together a nice piece on the relationship between Huey P. Long and Seymour Weiss, who was granted a full and unconditional pardon by Harry S Truman on February 12, 1947.

Long's "preferred residence" in New Orleans was the Roosevelt Hotel which Mahen reports will reopen today! Long met the hotel's general manager and eventual owner, Weiss, and the two became so close that Weiss took charge of Long's personal and campaign finances. As a result, Weiss was a pallbearer at Long's funeral.

In 1934, Weiss was convicted of income tax evasion and surrendered back taxes in order to avoid federal prison. In the late 1930's income tax evasion was decorated with mail fraud charges and a sixteen-month prison sentence was the result.

But Mahen notes that - after parole and pardon - Weiss went on to "become one of the city's most influential businessmen" and, at death, was "reportedly worth more than $15 million." See story here.

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