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COMMONWEALTH v. GORE (07/17/52)

July 17, 1952

COMMONWEALTH
v.
GORE



COUNSEL

L. B. Schofield, Harry J. J. Bellwoar, Jr., Bellwoar & Rich, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Isaiah W. Crippins, Asst. Dist. Atty., Philadelphia, Pa., Richardson Dilworth, Dist. Atty., Philadelphia, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.

Author: Rhodes

[ 171 Pa. Super. Page 10]

RHODES, President Judge.

Defendant, Lester E. Gore, having been found guilty by a jury, has appealed from conviction and sentence on a charge of perjury in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County. His motion for a new trial was denied, and he was sentenced to the Eastern State Penitentiary for a term of not less than one year nor more than three years.

The evidence presented by the Commonwealth established that defendant, a building inspector and secretary of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Philadelphia, testified under oath before the Special Grand Jury of March, 1950, which had been instructed to investigate charges of extortion and related crimes in any city department or bureau granting licenses, permits, or approvals, as follows:

'Question: Now, as a building inspector or ward leader or secretary of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, did you ever receive or demand any money from anyone in connection with the obtaining of a building permit, a zoning permit, a use permit, or any other matters that would come before the Zoning Board of Adjustment? Answer: I did not.

'Question: Or that in any way affects zoning? Answer: No.'

The bill of indictment upon which defendant was tried recited, in substance and effect, defendant's testimony before the grand jury as constituting perjury. The indictment thereupon continued: 'Whereas in Truth and in Fact, he, the said Lester E. Gore, as he then and there well knew, did, as a building inspector,

[ 171 Pa. Super. Page 11]

    or ward leader or Secretary of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Philadelphia receive or demand money from divers persons in connection with the obtaining of a building permit, zoning permit, use permit, or any other matter which would come before the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Philadelphia, or which in any way would affect zoning, to wit:' The indictment then set forth six transactions forming the evidentiary bases of the assignment of perjury.

The Commonwealth's witnesses showed that on these six different occasions defendant unlawfully demanded and received substantial sums of money for the issuance of building permits and certificates of zoning variances ...


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