The man whose $350,000 campaign loan led to the impeachment of former Gov. Evan Mecham testified he asked the loan be kept confidential only to keep other politicians from asking him for money, not to hide it from authorities.
Developer and attorney Barry Wolfson, of Tempe, Ariz., testified for the defense Wednesday in the fraud and perjury trial of Mecham and his brother, Willard, who served as the governor's campaign treasurer in 1986.Prosecutors say the Mechams conspired to conceal the loan in order to hide any connection between Mecham and Wolfson, who was under investigation at the time for alleged improprieties involving tax-exempt industrial development bonds.
The loan was combined with other monies on state campaign financing forms to show a total of $465,000. Nowhere on the forms does Wolfson's name appear.
"I not only didn't care (bout being listed on the forms), but I expected I would've been," Wolfson testified during the first day of the defense portion of the trial.
A key piece of prosecution evidence is a letter signed by Mecham in which he assured Wolfson that the loan - part of a $600,000 line of credit - would be kept confidential.
Wolfson testified he drafted the letter and included the confidentiality clause on his own, without consulting with the Mecham camp.