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COURT BATTLE TO KEEP PHILADELPHIA NAVAL SHIPYARD IN OPERATION TO CONTINUE TOMORROW IN U.S. COURT OF APPEALS IN PHILADELPHIA

 COURT BATTLE TO KEEP PHILADELPHIA NAVAL SHIPYARD IN OPERATION
 TO CONTINUE TOMORROW IN U.S. COURT OF APPEALS IN PHILADELPHIA
 The court battle to keep the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard (PNSY) open and in operation will continue tomorrow when the plaintiffs will ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to overturn a ruling by the lower court that dismissed their suit.
 The argument will take place at 9.30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, in Courtroom 1 on the 19th floor of the U.S. Courthouse at 6th and Market streets, Philadelphia.
 U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Bruce Kauffman, senior partner for the Philadelphia law firm of Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish & Kauffman, will argue for the plaintiffs, who have charged the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Department of Defense with violating the Base Closure Act regulations in ordering PNSY closed.
 The plaintiffs include Specter, Sens. Harris Wofford (D-Pa.), Bill Bradley and Frank Lautenberg (both D-N.J.), Pennsylvania Gov. Robert P. Casey, Pennsylvania Attorney General Ernest D. Preate Jr., U.S. Reps. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), Thomas Foglietta (D-Pa.), Robert E. Andrews (D-N.J.), Lawrence Coughlin (R-Pa.), the City of Philadelphia, Howard J. Landry of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 3, and William F. Reil of the Metal Trades Council, Local 687 Machinists.
 They are seeking a declaratory judgment to prevent the closing.
 Following argument on the suit on Oct. 25, 1991, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter issued a ruling dismissing the suit on Nov. 1, 1991.
 In filing an immediate appeal from this ruling, Specter and Kauffman said the lower court was "wrong on the law."
 In bringing their suit, the plaintiffs said that the Navy had suppressed underlying facts that indicated conclusively that the shipyard should be kept open and in operation.
 Specter argued that memos by two high-ranking Navy officials, admirals Heckman and Claman, that supported retention of PNSY, were "deliberately withheld" by the Navy from members of Congress, the Base Closure Commission and the General Accounting Office until after the close of public hearings.
 An even more serious charge, he said, was the instruction by Assistant Secretary of the Navy Donald Howard to Heckman that Heckman was not to testify before the commission at public hearings on PNSY in Philadelphia.
 In December 1990, Heckman, then commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command, wrote a memorandum to the chief of Naval Operations urging that the Navy reconsider its decision to close the shipyard. He said it was more prudent to downsize than to close PNSY.
 "Adm. Heckman's testimony was vital to the Base Closure Commission's deliberations on the shipyard," said Specter, "but the Navy deliberately prevented him from testifying, illegally prejudicing the shipyard's case."
 He said the Navy violated the Base Closure Act in (1) not treating all cases equally; (2) in not complying with the secretary of Defense's military selection criteria; (3) in not complying with the secretary of Defense's record keeping and internal controls requirements; and (4) in preventing the General Accounting Office from performing its statutory mandate of reviewing and analyzing the recommendations for base closures.
 CONTACT: Dan McKenna of Sen. Arlen Specter's office, 215-597-7200.
 /delval/
 -0- 1/27/92


CO: Philadelphia Naval Shipyard ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

MK-KA -- PH013 -- 3685 01/27/92 11:17 EST
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Date:Jan 27, 1992
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