Edwin Reinecke

Howard Edwin "Ed" Reinecke (January 7, 1924 – December 24, 2016) was an American politician from California. He served three terms in the United States House of Representatives. He was the 39th state lieutenant governor from 1969 until his resignation in 1974 in connection with a Federal conviction for perjury.[2]

Edwin Reinecke
Edwin Reinecke.jpg
39th Lieutenant Governor of California
In office
January 8, 1969 – October 2, 1974
GovernorRonald Reagan
Preceded byRobert Finch
Succeeded byJohn L. Harmer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 27th district
In office
January 3, 1965 – January 21, 1969
Preceded byEverett G. Burkhalter
Succeeded byBarry Goldwater, Jr.
Personal details
Howard Edwin Reinecke

(1924-01-07)January 7, 1924
Medford, Oregon
DiedDecember 24, 2016(2016-12-24) (aged 92)
Laguna Hills, California
Resting placeDesert Memorial Park in Cathedral City in Riverside County, California
Political partyRepublican
Jean Hrabec[1] Mietus
(m. 1967; died 2011)
ResidenceRancho Mirage, California
Alma materCalifornia Institute of Technology
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Navy
Battles/warsWorld War II

Early life and careerEdit

Reinecke was born in Medford, Oregon, and served in the Navy during World War II. He graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1942 and then attended the California Institute of Technology, from which he graduated in 1950 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Together with his sister (Charlotte) and two brothers (Fred and Bill), he founded FEBCO, a manufacturing company, in southern California.

Political careerEdit

Reinecke served in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1965 and 1969. As a member of the Interior Committee, he worked to preserve Western rivers (including the Colorado River, which was to be dammed within the Grand Canyon).

In 1969, President Richard Nixon appointed California's Lieutenant Governor Robert Finch to be the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. To fill the vacancy, Governor Ronald Reagan appointed then-Congressman Reinecke as Lieutenant Governor on January 9, 1969.[3] He was re-elected in 1970.

In 1974, Reinecke ran for the Republican nomination for Governor of California to succeed Reagan, who chose not to seek a third term. As part of the conservative wing of the Republican Party in contrast with the more moderate State Controller Houston Flournoy, he could expect a strong conservative turnout for the primary election.[4] Early in the race, he held a lead over Flournoy.[5] He had just earned the endorsement of the California Republican Assembly, a leading conservative group, when a Federal grand jury indicted him for perjury on April 3, 1974.[4]

Indictment and ConvictionEdit

Reinecke's indictment was an offshoot of the investigation into the Watergate scandal. In 1972, he testified before the Senate during a confirmation hearing of Richard Kleindienst, the nominee for Attorney General. He was asked about an offer by Sheraton Hotels, a division of ITT Inc., which was the subject of a Federal antitrust investigation, to underwrite the 1972 Republican National Convention. Specifically, the committee wanted to know if he discussed the offer with the Watergate figure and former Attorney General John N. Mitchell (R) before of after ITT settled its case with the government. He told Senator Hiram Fong that the conversation took place after the settlement despite his earlier comment to a reporter that the conversation had taken place several months earlier.

Reinecke stayed in the race for governor, but was defeated by Flournoy, who went on to lose to Jerry Brown (D) in the general election. He was convicted of perjury in July 1974, but refused to resign until the state law required him to do so.[6]

California law barred anyone convicted of perjury from holding office in the state; but the state attorney general ruled that this provision would not take effect until sentencing.[7] On October 2, 1974, he was sentenced to an 18-month suspended term and resigned from office the same day.[8]

On December 8, 1975, an appeals court overturned the ruling because "the Senate Judiciary Committee before which he was accused of perjuring himself had failed to publish its rule permitting a one-man quorum."[9][10]

Later lifeEdit

Reinecke and his wife, the former Jean Hrabec[11] Mietus (1923–2011), a Pennsylvania native, owned the Diamond R Ranch on Bucks Bar Road in Placerville, California. They were the first ranchers to import and breed Charolais cattle in El Dorado County, California. In 1981, they opened the restaurant "Zachary Jacques"[12] known for prime rib and live musical entertainment. They also operated the brokerage firm, Reinecke Realty Residential.

Reinecke died of natural causes on Christmas Eve 2016, in Laguna Hills, California, at the age of 92.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ reference 11
  2. ^ [1] | DEC 25, 2016 | Ed Reinecke, who resigned as California's lieutenant governor after a perjury conviction, dies at 92 | Cindy Chang | [2]
  3. ^ "Reinecke Named Finch Successor; Reagan Says Appointee and He Are in Accord on Aims". New York Times. 1969-01-09.
  4. ^ a b "Reinecke is Firm on Primary Race". New York Times. 1974-04-07.
  5. ^ "Ed Reinecke, Lieutenant Governor Ensnared by Watergate, Dies at 92". New York Times. 2016-12-28.
  6. ^ "Reinecke Won't Quit Post Unless Required by Law". New York Times. 1974-07-30.
  7. ^ "Reinecke Will Resign". New York Times. 1974-08-02.
  8. ^ "Reinecke Receives A Suspended Term". New York Times. 1974-10-02.
  9. ^ Ronald J. Ostrow, "Prosecutor Decides Not to Appeal Reinecke Case," Los Angeles Times, February 4, 1976, page 19
  10. ^ 524 F.2d 4351 United States of America v. Howard Edwin Reinecke, Appellant
  11. ^ Spelling correction by David Filipi, 1st cousin, once removed
  12. ^ Ed Reinecke obit
  13. ^ Ed Reinecke, California lieutenant governor who resigned after perjury conviction, dies at 92

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Finch
Lieutenant Governor of California
January 8, 1969 – October 2, 1974
Succeeded by
John L. Harmer
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Everett G. Burkhalter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 27th congressional district

January 3, 1965 – January 21, 1969
Succeeded by
Barry Goldwater, Jr.