This topic includes material regarding any and all investigations of Secretary of Labor Raymond Donovan in addition to any and all references to the Secretary found within the Library’s records.


The Investigation of the Nomination Procedures for Raymond Donovan, Secretary of Labor


During January 1981, the FBI conducted a standard background investigation of Secretary of Labor designate Raymond J. Donovan. Summaries of the investigation were furnished through the Assistant Attorney General's Office of Legislative Affairs, Department of Justice, to the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, the President Elect’s Transition Office and later to the White House Counsel’s Office. This first report contained some allegations regarding Donovan’s ties to organized crime. Based on this information, his confirmation was held up for several weeks in which Donovan testified in Congress multiple times and vigorously maintained his innocence. He was confirmed as Secretary of Labor on February 4, 1981.


Throughout 1981, the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources continued to refer allegations of corruption against Donovan and his former employee, Schiavone Construction Co, including ties to organized crime, bribery and pay-offs to the FBI investigation unit. Witnesses came forward with further accusations long after his confirmation and the official background investigation was completed on January 27, 1981


On December 29, 1981, a federal court panel appointed Leon Silverman, a New York City attorney, as a Special Prosecutor to investigate allegations of corruption against Donovan, specifically that Donovan was present when Schiavone Construction was making a payoff. It should be noted Donovan requested the appointment of a special prosecutor presumably to stop the continued speculation regarding corruption. Silverman was to conduct an investigation of Donovan, in accordance with provisions of the Ethics in Government Act on behalf of the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources.


Silverman filed a report with the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia on June 28, 1982 focused on the charge that Donovan had participated in an illegal payoff by his New Jersey construction firm to a corrupt labor union official. Silverman found there was “insufficient credible evidence on which to base a prosecution” of Donovan on charges involving labor corruption and links to organized crime.


Silverman filed a supplemental report after a nine-month investigation on September 13, 1982 and repeated the conclusions of the June 28 report that there was “insufficient credible evidence” to support charges.


In 1985 an additional investigation by Special Prosecutor Silverman was opened on the question of whether Donovan had given false testimony to Congress in 1982.  This investigation was suspended pending the 1987 trial of Donovan on corruption charges. Its findings were the same as earlier investigations – “insufficient credible evidence.”


Raymond Donovan left the Reagan Administration on March 15, 1985 and returned to his construction firm in New Jersey where he eventually acquired 50% ownership in the company. In a highly publicized 1987 case, Donovan and six other defendants were indicted by a Bronx County, New York, grand jury for larceny and fraud in connection with a project to construct a new line for the New York City subway. The alleged scheme involved a Genovese crime family associate and a minority-owned subcontractor. Schiavone Construction was obligated to subcontract part of the work to a minority-owned enterprise. The essence of the charge was that because the minority owned firm (Jo-Pel Contracting and Trucking Corp) leased equipment from Schiavone, that it was not truly independent of Schiavone.]

On May 25, 1987, Donovan (and all of the other defendants) was acquitted, after which Donovan was famously quoted as asking, "Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?”


As a result of the Silverman investigation, other discrepancies regarding the initial FBI background investigation were uncovered. It was disclosed the FBI had damaging information that it provided to the White House but withheld from the January 1981 Senate Labor Committee hearings on Donovan’s nomination. In addition, the FBI continued to receive further information on Donovan which was not passed to Congress. Congress conducted an investigation and hearings regarding the FBI Investigation of Raymond Donovan and possible “Executive interference” in August 1982. FBI Unit Chief of Financial Crimes, Anthony Adamski, Jr. and Francis M. Mullen, Jr., FBI Executive Assistant Director for Investigations testified to the Committee on Labor. The Committee subpoenaed the White House Counsel, Fred Fielding, but he did not testify. Congress continued to request further information from the FBI up until early 1983. Their Committee final report was released on May 1983.


The majority of the material listed for this topic regarding the Donovan investigation focuses almost exclusively on the 1982 Congressional inquiry regarding FBI “timeliness and completeness” reporting information to the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources in the confirmation of Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan.  It includes requests from Congress to the FBI, Department of Justice and the White House Counsel’s Office on this matter; copies of documents provided; FBI and White House statements on the process followed in the investigation of nominee Raymond Donovan; summaries of events; reports from the Committee and the Special Prosecutor Leon Sullivan and news clippings surrounding the investigation.  There is little material related to the actual investigation of Sullivan other than his final reports.




Bullock, Katja: Files

          OA 18843

          Donovan, Raymond


Cohen, Benedict: Files

          CFOA 1338

          [Silverman IC (Independent Counsel) Report on Donovan, Vol. 1] (1)-(8)

          [Silverman IC (Independent Counsel) Report on Donovan, Vol. 2] (1)-(8)


Cooksey, Sherrie M.: Files

          OA 11723

          SMC/ Raymond Donovan

          SMC/ Donovan (1)-(3)

          Donovan: Special Prosecutor’s Report (1)(2)


Counsel to t he President, White House Office of the: Appointee Files

          CFOA 901

          Raymond J. Donovan, Secretary – DOL (1)(2)


Counsel to the President, Office of: Investigation Files: Records

Series III: Investigation of Raymond Donovan Confirmation, Secretary of Labor

          Box 4

          [Contents of Usual FBI Background Check as Part of Memorandum of Understanding –


          Donovan, Raymond J.  – [Initial FBI January 1981 Reports] (1)(2)


          Box 5

          Hearings before the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources: Raymond J.

                   Donovan to be Secretary of Labor, January 12 and 27, 1981

          [Documents Re: Donovan, 1981]

          Donovan – [Appointment of Special Prosecutor, December 1981] (1)(2)

          [Senate Investigation of Department of Labor]

          [Material Viewed by Special Prosecutor and Given to Senate Committee] (1)(2)

          [Additional Senate Committee on Labor & Human Resources Reports & Excerpts]

          Senator Baker

          Fred F.Fielding Statement 06/09/1982

          Webster Press Conference 06/09/1982 (1)(2)

          Press Briefing 06/15/1982

          Rodino Letter (1)(2)

Byrd Letter (1)(2)

          Denton Letter

          [Documents re: FBI Investigation, 1980-1981] (Binder)

          [Documents re: FBI Investigation, 1981-1982] (Notebook)

          [Correspondence with Congress re: Donovan] (1)(2)


          Box 6

          [Correspondence with Congress re: Donovan] (3)-(11)

          [Inventory of Congressional Correspondence re: Donovan Investigation] (1)-(8)


          Box 7

          [Inventory of Congressional Correspondence re: Donovan Investigation] (9)-(11)

          Committee Resolution - Flannery

          [Chronology of Events/Summary of Key Points Drafts & Final] (1)(2)

          [FBI Materials Given to Senate Committee] (1)(2)

          Hauser Notes

          Senate Deposition Request – Fielding

          Labor Committee Resolution (1)(2)

          Labor Committee (1)-(4)

          [Transcript of Deposition of Francis M. Mullen, 08/11/1982, Annotated]

          [Excerpt of Sworn Record of Francis M. Mullen, 08/11/1982]

          [Resumed Sworn Record of Francis M. Mullen, Annotated, 08/12/1982] (1)(2)


          Box 8

          [Resumed Sworn Record of Francis M. Mullen, Annotated, 08/12/1982] (3)

          [Excerpt of Resumed Sworn Record of Francis M. Mullen, 08/12/1982]

          [Silverman Interview of Edwin Meese, 08/14/1982]

          Testimony: Sworn Record of Francis M. Mullen, 08/17/1982] (1)(2)

          Testimony: Sworn Record of Francis M. Mullen, 08/17/1982, Annotated (1)(2)

          [Resumed Sworn Record of Francis M. Mullen, 08/18/1982 (1)-(3)

          [Resumed Sworn Record of Francis M. Mullen, 08/18/1982, Annotated] (1)(2)

          [Sworn Record of Anthony Adamski, 08/18/1982, Annotated] (1)(2)

[Transcript of Anthony Adamski Testimony, 08/19/1982] (1)(2)

[Transcript of Anthony Adamski Testimony, 08/19/1982, Annotated] (1)(2)

[Excerpt from Adamski Testimony, 08/19/1982]

          Testimony of Anthony Adamski, 08/20/1982 (1)(2)


          Box 9

          Testimony of Anthony Adamski, 08/20/1982 (3)(4)

          [Notes on Testimony and Further Requests]

          [Department of Justice Correspondence with Senator Hatch, 08/17/1982-08/30/1982]


          [Follow-Up to Donovan Investigation]

          Draft Response to 11/15/1982 Letter (1)(2)

          [Conflicts of Interest Post-Employment] (1)(2)

          Press Clippings: New York Times

          Press Clippings:  Washington Post

          Press Clippings:  Washington Times

          Press Clippings:  Other

          Press Clippings:  Time/Newsweek/U.S. News

          Press Clippings:  Wall Street Journal

          Press [Requests – Notes]

          [Report of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources re: Nomination, 01/29/1981]

          Report of the Special Counsel of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources –

                   May 1983

          [Appendix to Report - Committee on Labor and Human Resources, March 1983] (1)-(7)


Box 10

          [Appendix to Report - Committee on Labor and Human Resources, March 1983] (8)(9)

          Report of the Special Prosecutor (Leon Silverman) - Volume 1 – 06/28/1982 (1)-(8)

          Report of the Special Prosecutor (Leon Silverman) - Volume 2 – 06/28/1982 (1)-(8)

          Report of the Special Prosecutor (Leon Silverman) - Volume 3: Appendix & Exhibits–

                   06/25/1982 (1)(2)


          Box 11

          Report of the Special Prosecutor (Leon Silverman) - Volume 3: Appendix & Exhibits–

                   06/25/1982 (3)-(8)

Supplemental Report of the Special Prosecutor (Leon Silverman) - 09/10/1982           [Marked as “Original Copy”] (1)(2)

          Supplemental Report of the Special Prosecutor (Leon Silverman, 09/13/1982 (1)(2)


Fielding, Fred: Files

          Box 34F

          Orrin Hatch / Edward Kennedy [Ray Donovan Investigation]


Fuller, Craig: Files

          OA 10379

          CLF: Telecons / Secretary Donovan


Garrett, H. Lawrence: Files

          OA 12253

          HLG/ Donovan, Raymond (Secretary of Labor)


Goldfield, H.P.: Files

          OA 8964

          HPG/Donovan, Raymond


Hauser, Richard A.: Files

          OA 9024

Donovan, Raymond: Leave of Absence/Resignation


Knauer, Virginia: Files

          Box 39

          Secretary Donovan


Luttig, J. Michael: Files

          OA 10019

          Secretary Donovan


Moore, Powell: Files

          OA 3816

          Secretary of Labor Raymond J. Donovan (1)(2)


Public Affairs, Office of : Records

          OA 9016

          Donovan, Ray (1)-(4)


Rusthoven, Peter J.: Files

          OA 11410

          Donovan, Raymond (1)-(12)


          OA 11423

          PJR / Ronson, William Letter about Mario Merola and Ray Donovan


 Turner, Carlton E.: Files

          Box 20

          Raymond Donovan


Waller, David B.: Files

          OA 5145

          Donovan Matter (1)-(6)

          [Raymond Donovan – Report of the Special Prosecutor] (1)-(6)


Willkie, Wendell L.: Files

          OA 10633

          WLW/ Donovan, Raymond


Wilson, Edward: Files

          OA 7434

          Donovan, Raymond



Updated: 4/1/2015                                                                                                               Most recent opening: 05/20/2014

Case#                      Researcher                            Topic                                                       Pages                      Restricted

F99-102/2               Yalof, David                            Investigations                                        5345                        1708

F99-102/1               Yalof, David                            Investigations                                        1971                        277

F99-102/5               Yalof, David                            Investigations                                        2984                        175