Webs Of Corruption

Shortly after the Franklin raid, rumors of a nationwide pedophile network swept Nebraska, and in January of 1989 a subcommittee of the state’s legislature convened in Lincoln to investigate both Franklin’s looting and the whispers of far worse crimes. The subcommittee would be called the Franklin Committee, and it was chaired by the 64-year-old Loren Schmit, a corn farmer, stalwart Republican, and 24-year veteran of Nebraska’s legislature. The Franklin Committee had not even started its work when Schmit received his first anonymous phone call—Schmit told reporters for British television that the caller had urged him to drop the inquiry because it would reach "the highest levels of the Republican Party.”

Eulice Washington’s initial allegations of child abuse appeared in a 1988 report from Nebraska’s Foster Care Review Board, a state agency that reviews the plans, services, and placements of children in out-of-home care to ensure their optimum welfare. Though the report contained a series of allegations about King, its centerpiece consisted of interviews of Eulice by a Boys Town youth worker. Eulice stated that she and Boys Town students had been transported across state lines for sexual exploitation. After the Board requested a law enforcement investigation, its report moved through channels at the Omaha Police Department (OPD) and the state attorney general’s office in July of 1988. In the absence of child abuse indictments, the State House swelled with rumors of a cover-up..

In early 1989, the Franklin Committee issued a subpoena to the Assistant Attorney General, demanding that the Attorney General’s office surrender its reports relating to King and child abuse, but Attorney General Robert Spire refused to honor the subpoena. Spire’s investigator, Thomas Vlahoulis, would be called before the Franklin Committee and confess that he hadn’t interviewed a single alleged victim, and had referred all victim debriefings to the OPD.

The Omaha chief of police, Robert Wadman told the Lincoln Journal that the OPD had pursued all leads and found them unsubstantiated . “Every step that should have been taken was taken,” he said. Yet, Chief Robert Wadman would later confess that the OPD never contacted Eulice, and three months after Wadman’s remarks, the Boys Town youth worker who had interviewed Eulice told the Omaha World-Herald that the OPD had never contacted her either.

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