A Federal grand-jury investigation of 49ers co-Owner
     Edward DeBartolo Jr. is "focusing on a $400,000 cash payment
     he made to former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards less than three
     weeks before his company obtained a casino license in
     Louisiana, according to people with knowledge of the probe"
     and cited by Laurie Cohen of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The
     investigation began in fall '96 when the FBI wiretapped
     Edwards' home and law office (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/4).  A
     source told the S.F. CHRONICLE that Federal agents "were
     listening" when DeBartolo "offered to pay" as much as
     $400,000 for the license and that he "got caught in an
     elaborate federal sting" aimed at Edwards.  The source
     added: "There's no question who the government was after. 
     Then along comes Eddie" (Fagan, Pimentel & Dietz, S.F.
     CHRONICLE, 12/4).  In Baton Rouge, former Gov. Edwards said
     that the $383,500 that the FBI seized was paid to him by
     DeBartolo to "watch out for his interests."  Edwards:
     "DeBartolo never asked me or intimated or suggested that I
     do anything improper, out of line, or unethical.  And no one
     can say otherwise."  He added that DeBartolo paid him the
     money this year, "well after" he left office (Peter Shinkle,
     Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 12/4).  If convicted, DeBartolo "could
     be banned for life" from the NFL (S.F. EXAMINER, 12/3).
          SPEAKS TO THE TEAM: 49ers President Carmen Policy said
     that DeBartolo had spoken to the team in a "closed meeting." 
     He said a "somewhat emotional but controlled" DeBartolo told
     players that he was "committed to the team's future and
     would be back" (S.F. EXAMINER, 12/3).  Policy added that
     DeBartolo's "pending indictment" would not affect the team
     and that "there would be no impediment" to the team's new
     stadium project.  Policy: "The DeBartolo Corp. is doing
     quite well.  They will be able to withstand whatever
     ramifications."  He "rejected" suggestions that DeBartolo
     and his sister, Denise DeBartolo York, who is a 50% partner
     in the team, "would be forced to sell because of the legal
     problems" (Fagan, Pimentel & Dietz, S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/4). 
     In San Jose, Mark Purdy calls DeBartolo's resignation
     "overrated," and quotes one NFL team exec as saying, "Around
     the league, I think most people will believe that Ed
     DeBartolo is still going to play some part in major 49er
     decisions" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/4).  In S.F., Ray
     Ratto wrote under the header, "Business As Usual?  If So, It
     May Get Rocky."  Ratto: "One wonders if York's ambitions are
     contained by her familial ties.  One wonders if DeBartolo
     really did resign in more than just name.  One wonders
     whether the NFL would bother to do anything to him even if
     he is convicted. ... I think we're going to have to let this
     play out a while" (S.F. EXAMINER, 12/3). 
          NOTES: A SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS editorial states:
     "Whatever the legal outcome of this matter, [DeBartolo's]
     image in the Bay area will never be quite the same" (MERCURY
     NEWS, 12/4)....Also in San Jose, Herhold & Carey examine the
     NFL's guidelines on gambling.  DeBartolo's ownership of the
     49ers as "he embarked on a bold, two-year venture into the
     gaming industry was made possible by the [NFL's] lenient
     restrictions on gambling, as far as owners are concerned." 
     NFL execs said yesterday that while they were "concerned"
     over his gaming initiatives, they had taken "no firm stand
     against his activities" (MERCURY NEWS, 12/4).

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