JFK Officials Saw GSA Drafts
Smith Received Unfinished Report
The Kennedy Library Corporation reviewed the draft environmental impact statement for the John F. Kennedy Library before it was released to the public or examined by government officials, according to documents obtained yesterday by The Crimson.
The documents state that the General Services Administration last September sent portions of the preliminary draft for the impact statement, prepared by C.E. Maguire. Inc., to the Kennedy Library Corporation before the agency's own environmental officials reviewed it.
The GSA, on January 6, released a draft environmental impact statement for the Kennedy Library that was highly favorable to construction of the project in Cambridge. The report said that the library's traffic and pollution impact on the Square would be negligible.
The GSA has denied the public any access to the unedited Maguire draft, the same material given to the Kennedy Corporation for pre-screening. Neighborhood Ten, a Cambridge civic group, is suing the GSA for access to the documents and will argue its case in court today.
During the review by the Kennedy Corporation, one of its spokesmen denied that the corporation had been given access to the report in advance of public release.
GSA and library corporation officials were unavailable for comment yesterday.
In a letter dated September 26, Robert T. Griffin, a GSA administrator, wrote Stephen Smith, head of the Kennedy Corporation, that the agency had just received three chapters of the preliminary draft statement from Maguire and "would appreciate a review of this material by the Library Corporation staff and consultants for the accuracy of factual content."
"The material has been forwarded under separate cover and is the product of Maguire's efforts and has not yet been reviewed by GSA officals," the letter said.
Griffin said the Kennedy Corporation's review of the material "and the remaining chapters as they become available" will ensure that "those who comment upon the draft environmental impact statement will not be misled by inaccuracies in factual material."
Smith in an October 2 letter to Griffin, acknowledge that he had received the documents.
Gerald Gillerman '49, lawyer for Neighborhood Ten, said yesterday Neighborhood Ten had "asked for the same documents Mr. Griffin sent to Mr. Smith on September 26. However, on January 22, 1975, Mr. Griffin said that Neighborhood Ten was not entitled to see those documents."
Gillerman said the GSA maintained that the original Maguire material was exempt from the freedom of Information Act and did not have to be released. The lawyer will contest the agency's claim at 3 p.m. today in federal district court before Judge Prank J. Murray.
He declined to comment further, adding that legal ethics prevented him from discussing a case undergoing litigation.
Interviewed on November 2, a month after Smith received the first package of Maguire documents. Al Pierce, public relations director for the Kennedy Library Corporation, flatly denied that any member of the corporation had received advance information of the draft statement.
Griffin said on October 1, a week after sending the Maguire material to the Kennedy Corporation, release of the impact statement was delayed because the GSA had many projects to review. He did not indicate that any documents had been sent to Smith for study.
Oliver Brooks, head of the Harvard Square Development Task Force, said last night that if the Kennedy Corporation had men the original draft, other interest groups should be given access to it.
He said he was "stunned" by the disclosure and added that the GSA had acted to undermine the credibility of the impact statement