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REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: DISCLOSURES EXPLODE ENID WALDHOLTZ’S WORLD AND SPLATTER HER PROBLEMS ACROSS THE NATION.

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Rep. Enid Greene Waldholtz - one of the shining freshmen stars of the first GOP Congress in 40 years - started the week of Nov. 10 as a wife with a loving marriage, as a new mother, a millionaire and a bright politician with a fairy-tale future.

She ended it a single mother, broke, her estranged husband surrendering to the FBI, her embarrassing personal problems splashed across the nation and most constituents believing she's not telling the truth and she shouldn't seek re-election.By any measure, it had to be the worst week for a public figure in Utah's history.

How bad was it? Disclosures that normally would have brought blaring headlines - such as husband Joe Waldholtz using a congressional aide's American Express card to charge $45,000 he then delayed paying - became mere footnotes amid much more strange twists.

Joe and Enid Waldholtz's awful seven days were the eruption - spewing unbelievable details about deception and possible fraud - that resulted from pressure built over weeks by the press and extended families.

The pressure began - tiny at first - during Enid's 1994 campaign. Press reports questioned a $47,000 American Express bill that Joe had built up but not paid - blaming it on a thief he said had stolen his card number - and a $20,000 bounced check for jewelry.

The press also kept questioning Enid Waldholtz about the source of her money she poured into her race - which eventually would total $1.8 million. She never would say exactly - saying that was private. She would only say that she fully complied with election laws.

Invisible to the public at the time, other pressure was coming from campaign staffers and Republican officials who didn't like how Joe, who also was Enid's campaign treasurer, handled her finances.

One aide said that in spring 1994 Joe Waldholtz bounced more than 80 checks on the campaign account - all while FEC reports showed a balance of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some vendors called state GOP officials to complain about repeated bounced checks.

Another campaign worker said she met personally with Enid Waldholtz in June 1994 and showed her a memo listing 30 to 40 specific FEC violations on the reports Joe had filed. "Enid assured me she understood what I was saying" about the FEC problems, said Kaylin Loveland, who resigned when Enid did nothing but say Joe would take care of them.

Loveland and campaign worker Steve Taggart - who also resigned in June because of the campaign's financial problems - called in other Utah GOP leaders: GOP Executive Director David Hansen; former U.S. Attorney David Jordan; and Gov. Mike Leavitt, who performed the marriage for Enid and Joe the previous year.

After discussions by such high-level officials, then-state GOP chairman Bruce Hough told Enid to get her campaign finances in order; that Joe had to be removed as campaign treasurer, which would help distance her campaign from stories about his personal finances; and that outside people should be brought in to clear up the mess.

But Enid would not replace Joe as campaign treasurer.

Enid Waldholtz weathered early pressure, was elected - and enjoyed immense positive publicity at becoming the first GOP freshman in 70 years to win a spot on the powerful Rules Committee. She was quickly seen as a lieutenant of House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The Economist of London called her a "Mormon Margaret Thatcher."

More positive publicity came as she announced her pregnancy. She was to become only the second House member ever to give birth while in office.

But amid that, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that personal financial-disclosure statements Enid filed showed she likely didn't have enough money to legally provide the $1.8 million she gave her campaign. Candidates may use no more than half the joint assets they hold with spouses.

Enid Waldholtz responded that she had simply checked the wrong box listing the wrong amount for a key asset. She promised to quickly amend her report - but never has.

Not much happened for a few months. Then in October, some whistleblowers began contacting the Deseret News and others with wild tales - and some proof - of possible check-bouncing, fraud, misuse of congressional funds and serious election-law violations by Joe Waldholtz.

Coupled with that, Joe's extended family - while looking into the finances of his mentally incapacitated grandmother - discovered Joe had been given $700,000 or more of her money to invest, but he wouldn't answer questions about it. They served him with papers in October ordering him to appear in court in Pittsburgh on Nov. 13 to explain his handling of the assets.

Those two developments would bring two weeks of intense pressure - which eventually would send Joe on the lam.

The pressure peaks

The pressure increases with a Deseret News story on Oct. 28 where Enid Waldholtz acknowledges after several Deseret News inquiries that she and her husband had bounced scores of checks for tens of thousands of dollars since she took office. She says that happened because a thief stole blank checks from Joe's baggage in an airport, someone else stole a credit-card number, and some expected wire transfers had gone awry.

The Deseret News also reports that the Waldholtzes had been sued by numerous people for non-payment of bills. She blames them all on misunderstandings, checks that had been lost or changed addresses; she says they all had been settled. The story also notes Waldholtz never amended her financial-disclosure form as promised - but she says she would do so within a week.

On Oct. 30, the Deseret News asks Waldholtz to explain anomalies in a financial statement she provided to supposedly show she had more than $4 million in assets in a "TWC Ready Assets" account - which would be necessary for her to have enough assets to legally donate the $1.8 million she gave her campaign.

That document had no account number, failed to list the name of the company and did not list its address, phone number or contacts. The newspaper also cannot find any TWC Ready Assets company anywhere in the nation. Enid says she will check into it and provide explanations. She never has.

On Nov. 1, The Hill - a weekly newspaper that covers Congress - says Enid and Joe Waldholtz are under federal investigation for possible check kiting with their Congressional Credit Union account.

On Nov. 2, Enid Waldholtz issues a statement saying she has been too secretive about her finances and will set the record straight - but not until she has a chance to more closely review them. She blames her financial problems on Joe's finances being "extremely intertwined with those of his extended family" and says that has caused "substantial, temporary financial disruptions for my husband and me."

Also on Nov. 2, the Deseret News asks Waldholtz for copies of her office Federal Express bills - saying that is the only way to verify or kill rumors that husband Joe used congressional funds to send numerous personal packages. Aides insist on their honor that never happened - but they forward the request to Enid.

On Nov. 3, at Deseret News insistence, Enid releases the FedEx bills - which show Joe did send 22 personal packages costing $333 at the expense of her office. She says she didn't realize that had happened.

She also voluntarily discloses that her office had paid for, accidentally, some trips by Joe to Utah. She says they were supposed to have been charged to the American Express card of an aide - who she says requested that arrangement so he could earn more frequent-flier points. Later, it would be disclosed Joe had pressured the aide into that situation and charged up $45,000 that he was slow to repay, which hurt the aide's credit rating.

The FedEx story runs Nov. 4. On Nov. 5, Enid and Joe have a bit of a break from the pressure - and have their daughter, Elizabeth, blessed at a church meeting in Utah.

On Nov. 8 come the first media reports that Enid Waldholtz had been urged by state GOP leaders and former campaign staffers to drop Joe as her treasurer, plus revelations of more bounced campaign checks.

In response, Enid announces she has hired a lawyer to determine exactly what her financial situation is - and says she will have no further comment about her finances until his review is done. Aides and others begin telling the lawyer about financial irregularities by Joe, leading to confrontations between Joe and Enid.

The week the lid blows

On Friday, Nov. 10, the last relatively normal day for the Waldholtzes, the Deseret News reports three top aides of Enid Waldholtz quit. The aides won't say why - and the office says it has nothing to do with Enid's finances, but later events will show that is false in at least one case.

The Deseret News also runs a story that last summer Joe Waldholtz made a hit at a fund-raising event for a woman needing a liver transplant by pledging a $1,000 donation. When contacted after organizers had waited weeks for the money without success, Joe said he had sent a check but it must have been lost in the mail. He never sent a replacement.

That day, Enid's brother-in-law, Jim Parkinson, arrives in Washington to help Enid pursue questions with Joe about what happened to $4 million that Enid's father had provided to them through loans or asset swaps. Enid will later tell the FBI that $2 million of it apparently has disappeared.

Saturday, Nov. 11

The Deseret News runs a column calling for a quick explanation of Waldholtz's finances, noting if she waits too long her career could be over. A reporter also calls Joe's father, Pittsburgh dentist Harvey Waldholtz, in the morning to ask him specific questions about Waldholtz family finances.

Harvey is interested in Enid's claims that problems come because Joe's finances are intertwined with those of his extended family and in reports that the extended family is worth millions and millions of dollars. Harvey promises to call the newspaper back after he talks to Joe.

Harvey Waldholtz calls Joe and wants some explanations. "I told him a reporter called me. He was his old jovial self. He said not to worry about what I was told, that it was just lies being told by (former Rep.) Karen Shepherd's people to hurt Enid. So I didn't worry about it," Harvey would say later.

Meanwhile, Enid Waldholtz, her lawyers and Parkinson want questions answered about the "Waldholtz Family Trust," which supposedly guaranteed money loaned or swapped from the Greene family to the couple.

Joe, two weeks before, convinced a friend, Mike O'Connell, to leave a greeting on an answering machine on Joe's old Pittsburgh telephone number - saying the caller had reached "the Waldholtz Family Trust" - as part of a "practical joke." It may have bluffed inquirers to believe the trust existed - although Harvey Waldholtz said it never did.

In the afternoon, Joe Waldholtz and Parkinson drive to National Airport, supposedly to pick up two people from Pittsburgh who manage that trust. Waldholtz leaves Parkinson in the baggage-claim area saying he will go look for them, and vanishes. Joe will go by train to Springfield, Mass., where he will stay for two days.

Enid and her lawyers call Washington police to report Joe missing. They tell them and the FBI that Joe may have had access to $2 million when he disappeared because they do not know where that money has gone.

Sunday, Nov. 12

Joe Waldholtz's disappearance is not announced for a day. He remains in Springfield. An upset Enid remains in Washington - where she must pass on an invitation as a guest of honor at a reception for LDS members of Congress with LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Monday, Nov. 13

In the morning, Parkinson on Enid's behalf issues a press release saying Joe is missing and the disappearance may have something to do with the tangled financial problems. He doesn't mention he was with Joe when he disappeared.

Enid Waldholtz promises to continue her internal probe, cooperate with all "external" investigations and then tell constituents what happened. She says Joe has been removed from all campaign and personal financial accounts and is no longer her campaign treasurer or unpaid congressional aide.

Joe fails to show up before a Pittsburgh judge to answer questions about his grandmother's estate. Dr. Waldholtz asks that his son please come back and all will be worked out.

The story - which until now had only been of major interest in Utah - now becomes major news nationally.

Sometime during the day, Joe travels by train again, from Springfield to Philadelphia, where he will stay in a hotel for two days.

Tuesday, Nov. 14

Disclosures explode as the press breaks stories about possible embezzlement by Joe Waldholtz of his grandmother and Enid's family and more details of campaign problems.

In the afternoon, Enid files for divorce, seeking sole custody of their daughter, and says she will seek restoration of her maiden name.

"My first reaction in all of this, of course, was to stand behind my husband and defend him," she said in the release. "I trusted him. I was wrong. . . . I want this man tracked down, arrested and punished for what he has done to me, my family and the people of Utah."

Enid's attorneys find that many of her financial records are missing or have been destroyed. The press begins to paint Joe Wald-holtz as a con man.

Meanwhile, Enid Waldholtz attends a Rules Committee hearing on her proposed ban on gifts by lobbyists - and says it is needed to improve the image of Congress. Afterward, she tearfully tells the Deseret News she never intentionally told it a lie as it pursued questions about her personal and campaign finances.

Wednesday, Nov. 15

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington issues an arrest warrant for Joe Waldholtz, seeking him as a material witness to testify before a grand jury investigating possible check kiting.

Court documents say Joe wrote himself checks for $227,500 more than was deposited in his Congressional Credit Union account. In addition, he wrote $65,000 worth to third parties, most of which were returned as unpaid, bounced checks.

The arrest warrant is issued in part because Enid's family believes Joe has access to millions of dollars - which might allow him to disappear for good.

Enid's attorneys tell the press that Forrest Greene "loaned" Enid and Joe Waldholtz more than $1 million over the past several years. Justice Department sources say Enid told them the Greene family provided $4 million through "swaps" for assets not easily liquidated in the nonexistent Wald-holtz Family Trust, and that about $2 million had gone for her campaign and $2 million disappeared.

Federal law limits loans from individuals to campaigns to no more than $1,000 per election, the same limit as for donations. Only loans from banks are exempt from that limit.

Enid also acknowledges amid press inquiries that an aide, Aaron Edens, was pressured by Joe for him to become a card holder on Edens' personal American Express account. He then charged $45,000 and was slow to repay. Edens lost his card and suffered a damaged credit rating. Enid calls him another victim of Joe's deceptions.

Edens announces he is rescinding the resignation he submitted the previous week, suggesting that despite Waldholtz office assertions to the contrary, he did quit over the financial problems. Edens does not comment on that but stresses he is now supporting Enid.

Meanwhile, Joe is staying at the home of a lawyer friend in Philadelphia - Jeffrey A. Liebmann. Joe's lawyers will later say in court that he had no idea a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Thursday, Nov. 16

Joe Waldholtz learns about the warrant as he reads USA Today in the morning. Liebmann persuades him that he must surrender, and Joe decides to hire Philadelphia lawyer Harvey Sernovitz to help him.

They contact the U.S. attorney's office in Washington and promise to surrender at 11:45 the next day.

Meanwhile, Joe's father and his cousin, Steve Slesinger - who are both trustees on Joe's grandmother's estate - hold a press conference. They asked Joe to give himself up, saying they still love him and he has to return safely to answer all the questions about his actions.

Reports surface that Joe may have "borrowed" from $100,000 that his stepmother, Marilyn Waldholtz, had given him several years earlier to invest for him.

As the press and some Democrats clamor about the Greene family money going into the 1994 campaign, Enid Waldholtz issues a press release saying she "fully believed" that money she contributed to her 1994 campaign was from personal resources in full compliance with the law.

However, Brigham Young University political science professor David Magleby says he can't see how any loan to Enid and Joe could be turned around and placed into the campaign.

Magleby taught a BYU law school course on FEC law in the mid-1980s, and Enid Greene took the class.

But Greg Hughes, a personal friend who has known Joe since 1988 and Enid for four years, says Joe handled all the family personal finances and often told Hughes not to bother Enid with personal or campaign financial matters. "Enid knew nothing of any of these financial dealings," Hughes said.

"I've been with them both, joking about things, whatever, and if Joe said something, that was the end of it. She trusted him completely," says Hughes, a Provo homebuilder.

Friday, Nov. 17

Joe Waldholtz surrenders at 11:45 a.m. to the FBI.

At 3 p.m., a subdued, sometimes trembling Waldholtz appears before U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who decides to release him back to the custody of his Philadelphia friend Liebmann.

However, Sullivan orders Wald-holtz to surrender his passport and to travel only between Philadelphia and Washington until he appears before him again on Wednesday to determine whether he will testify before the grand jury.

One reason Joe is released is prosecutors are now convinced he has only "modest" funds - not millions that he could use to disappear for good. Joe provides a list of all his assets, but no explanation is given about where the millions that others say he controls has disappeared.

Sernovitz, Joe's lawyer, also says Joe has never failed to attend any court-ordered appearance - and a prosecutor later says he didn't know Joe missed the ordered Pittsburgh appearance on Monday. He says it wouldn't matter anyway because officials were satisfied with custody arrangements that had been made.

Sernovitz also outlines where Joe has been, says he wasn't trying to escape justice and just needed space to think through pressure from his family and the press. He also says Joe will invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself before the grand jury.

Upon hearing that his son is safe and given himself up, Dr. Wald-holtz says he is glad and cousin Slesinger says he believes the discrepancies with his grandmother's estate and other missing Waldholtz family money can resolved in a civil manner.

In what should be a major triumph for Waldholtz, the House passes her proposed ban on gifts by lobbyists to members of Congress - but it goes largely unnoticed.

Also Friday, a Deseret News/KSL poll conducted Thursday evening by Dan Jones & Associates shows 55 percent of 2nd Congressional District residents don't believe Enid Waldholtz is telling the truth about her personal and campaign finances - 30 percent believe her - and 57 percent think she should not run for re-election in 1996; 28 percent want her to run.

Saturday, Nov. 18

The Deseret News reports that several people listed as donors to Enid's campaign from Pennsylvania say they never gave that money - or cannot be located or have addresses that don't exist.

Meanwhile, political pundits, Democrats and even some Republicans are saying the congresswoman can't politically survive.

However, earlier in the week when rumors of resignation surfaced, House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, as well as other GOP state leaders, publicly supported Enid, saying she must have her day to explain to Utahns what happened.

*****

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Deseret News/KSL poll

Do you believe Enid Waldholtz is telling the truth when she says she knew nothing of her husband Joe's dealings in their personal and political finances?

DEFINITELY 10%

PROBABLY 20%

PROBABLY NOT 25%

DEFINITELY NOT 30%

DON'T KNOW 15%

Do you think Enid Waldholtz should resign her 2nd Congressional District seat?

DEFINITELY SHOULD 27%

PROBABLY SHOULD 13%

PROBABLY SHOULD NOT 20%

DEFINITELY SHOULD NOT 24%

DON'T KNOW 17%

Do you think Enid Waldholtz should run for re-election in 1996?

DEFINITELY SHOULD 14%

PROBABLY SHOULD 14%

PROBABLY SHOULD NOT 15%

DEFINITELY SHOULD NOT 42%

DON'T KNOW 16%

Poll conducted Nov. 16, 1995, of 302 adults in the 2nd Congressional District. Margin of error +/-5.5%. Survey conducted by Dan Jones & Associates. Copyright 1995 Deseret News.