U.S. Rep. Janklow says he ‘couldn’t be sorrier’ for accident

By CARSON WALKER, Associated Press Writer

This gentleman came up on Weirdharold’s radar screen way back in 1980 when he was Governor. I was working in Gaylord Minnesota for a company that sold coats via TV ads. One day the plant got a call from the Governor’s personal security department. Asking why we shipped a coat (very cheap) to the Governor. I looked up our shipping and sales records and called back to them. The call came in from a motel in Souix Falls, SD. It was sent C.O.D. to the Governor. They sent it back All these years I thought it was a prank call. Today I wonder. — U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow on Monday said he “couldn’t be sorrier” for an August accident that killed a motorcyclist and that he has not made any decisions about his political future.

Janklow, 64, was charged with second-degree manslaughter, which is a felony, and three misdemeanors for an Aug. 16 crash in Moody County that killed Randy Scott, 55, of Hardwick, Minn.

A prosecutor said Janklow was going 71 mph in a 55-mph zone and ran a stop sign at a rural intersection when the Cadillac he was driving collided with Scott’s motorcycle.

Janklow, R-S.D., hurt his head and his right hand in the crash. He returned to Washington last week.

Janklow told reporters he thinks about his future but doesn’t know what’s appropriate yet. He said he planned to return to Washington on Monday to go back to work.

“South Dakota is a jury, all of them. They’re a jury. They want to hear the facts. I don’t think they’ll make up their mind on anything until the facts are laid out before them,” Janklow said.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Flandreau to see if the prosecution has enough evidence for a trial. The maximum punishment for second-degree manslaughter, a felony, is 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Asked whether he would run for re-election, Janklow said, “I have no idea. There’s a time for everything.

“What I do will be appropriate at the appropriate time.”

Janklow said President Bush, Bush’s father and former President Clinton have called his home and that he talked with the Bushes but could not speak with Clinton.

Asked how he has changed in the last five weeks, Janklow said, “How the hell do I know how I’ve changed? I don’t have a clue. I don’t know.”

He sobbed briefly after the answer.

Janklow said he would not answer questions about the accident.

Several times Janklow mistakenly called Scott by the name of Robertson.

Janklow’s doctor said he suffered bleeding on the brain but has been cleared to travel. He returned to Washington last week and cast roll-call votes on the House floor Tuesday and Wednesday.

Janklow said he has some memory problems from the accident and that he had lost some feeling in his left leg but that he is getting better every day. He said he has headaches about the same time every day but that they are much less severe than they were right after the accident.

He did say his health affects his work somewhat, but he added that there’s no major legislation moving right now.

Janklow said he hasn’t been able to make job-related appearances since the accident. “Now I’m going to be getting back in the groove on that.”

His only other public appearance was an Aug. 29 court date.

The House ethics committee would automatically investigate Janklow if he is convicted of a felony. The committee’s rules say representatives who plead guilty or are convicted of a crime that carries more than two years in prison should not vote in the chamber until his or her record is cleared, or until re-elected.

If Janklow is convicted of manslaughter, he would not be allowed to vote in the House or take part in committee meetings. Those privileges would be returned if he is re-elected or the conviction is overturned on appeal. A misdemeanor conviction would not affect Janklow’s ability to serve in Congress.
Author: harold