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WARNING: This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
    There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
    Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.



Tobacco Institute (US)
Walker P Merryman
Shook Hardy & Bacon
Ed Fickes




Code Consultants Inc.    

A company specialising in building codes for fire safety that was persuaded by $30,000 to do some work for the Committee of Counsel (lawyers) of the tobacco industry on the proposed new building ventilation standards. The money was paid through the secretly-laundered Special Account #4 and the project was controlled via the Kansas City money-washing law firm of Shook Hardy & Bacon.

ASHRAE standards are set by the air-conditioning trade organisation, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioner Engineers, which controlled the standars of the industry world-wide. It was effectively an arm of the ANSI (American National Standards Institute)

BOCA standards were set by the Building Officials and Code Administrators which had USA influence only and controlled such problems as fire-safety in buildings, as well as air-conditioning. The tobacco industry, however, was determined to have influence over both organisations if they could.

One document says about BOCA that

"After recent public hearings in which Walker Merryman, SHB consultants and several industry allies testified, the BOCA committee voted to reject [the proposed change] 62-81 from inclusion into the BOCA Code.

If there is an internal challenge to this committee finding before April 4, as SHB has been told there would be, a new, full hearing will be held at the annual BOCA Conference, June 26 - July 1, 1983, in Lexington, KY.

Translated, this says that the tobacco industry lost the first round, but it has managed to mount a challenge to a decision. Their lawyers Shook Hardy & Bacon have someone inside the organization who is leaking the information about likely challenges (this was normal practice).

  • Shook Hardy & Bacon's consultants would have been Code Consultants Inc., which the industry was paying secretly for its report and testimony.
  • Walker Merryman was PR and spokesperson for the Tobacco Institute.
  • The tobacco industry's allies would have included the Formaldehyde Institute, the National Restaurant Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers which all normally held parallel pro-smoking positions on such matters and worked with them as coalition partners. The Manufactured Housing Institute also seems to have become an ally.


There is also another seemingly similar company called Atlantic Code Consultants , which is a fire protection engineering firm in Annapolis, Maryland

Code Consultants Inc. is a St Louis, Missouri firm which specializes in the interpretation of building codes. Greg Miller is the key Fire Protection Engineer and Ed Schultz was the company President. The company was mainly concerned with Fire Safety codes, not with ventilation, which is why the secret contract below is of so much (possible) interest.


1982 Sept 28: The National Bureau of Standards , Center for Building Technology has entered into an inter-agency agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to spend $68,000 on devising a "Model Building Code."

    Code Consultants. have been allocated $28,000 of these funds.
[Given this contract, they should not have been working with lobbyists in attempting to oppose the new Code.]

The Agreement identifies five tasks, the products of which should be
  (a) an "NBS review of the Code Consultant's report presenting the recommended format for model codes, and outlining recommended procedures for implementation";
  (b) "NBS report providing alternative model code formats and technical bases for the alternatives"; and
  (c) "NBS report documenting the model codes data base."

    The Agreement is to be implemented by August 30, 1983 and the FTC's contracting officer is John Mooney of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

1983 March 8: Shook Hardy & Bacon, the tobacco industry's main underhand law-lobby firm has briefed the Tobacco Institute "on the issue of the promulgation of model building codes, specifically ventilation standards.

    ASHRAE is proposing a new standard, as is BOCA. At the BOCA public hearings, the tobacco industry's side has won (only a minor battle) However this directs the TI's attention towards the need for paying more attention to BOCA. The report notes:

Lobbying: BOCA Conference The nature of the Conference and organization make lobbying an appropriate and effective tool. Therefore, the following suggestions have been made:
    1. Mail one-page factsheet to BOCA Conference attendees.
      a. What will be said in factsheet?
      b. Over whose name will factsheet go out?
    2. The presence of many local and state officials at the BOCA conference suggests that it would be helpful if TI field staff speak to their contacts on the issue.
    a. Field staff needs to be briefed on this matter. By whom?
    b. When?
C. Selection of Allies: Candidates
    1. Formaldehyde Institute
    2. Manufactured Housing Institute
    3. National Restaurant Association
    4. National Association of Manufacturers
    5. Contractors, architects and engineers working on construction projects for member companies
    6. Subsidiaries of and suppliers to member companies
E. Witness Development
    Expert witnesses (e.g., mechanical engineers, code consultants) are needed to testify in support of TI's position.
    1. Identify expert witnesses
    2. Select expert witnesses

    Clearly they see this as an important matter.

1983: BOCA Code Change hearings are being held to address the requirement for ventilation. Change M66-83 is a proposal which includes a new table for ventilation rates (including tables for smoking and non-smoking areas).

    It appears as if the BOCA has two factions like ASHRAE since one section in this report has been marked by tobacco executive. It notes that:

Don Cumings of Purafil Inc said "... let me assure you that I can certainly testify that smoke is a contaminant (as a smoker myself)...the recommended code change provides for higher ventilation rates with an area classified as smoking."

    Code Consultants was represented by Gregory R Miller, who expresses the view that the adoption of this code could pose legal problems for the [BOCA] industry.

1983 April 18: In-house lawyer, Fred Newman of PM writes to other members of the lawyers's Committee of Counsel:

This is further to my report at the March Committee of Counsel meeting regarding a Special Research Project on proposed ventilation standards. The work will be performed by Code Consultants, Incorporated of St. Louis and will involve an analysis, based on an existing modern high-rise office building, of the increased costs that would be incurred by virtue of the proposed ASHRAE 62-1981 ventilation requirements.

    We are informed that the engineers and code consultants involved in the project hold the view that the proposed code changes would require substantial increases in costs without the consequent provision of justifiable benefits to building occupants.

    The required funding of $26,750 will be handled through Special Fund #4, and other arrangements will be coordinated through Shook, Hardy & Bacon.
[Clearly they know the result before they commission the study, and the only reason to keep such a project secret and coordinate it rhough Shook Hardy & Bacon is to have it untraceable, so that it can be presented without attribution to the tobacco industry.]

    A payment of $29,170 was made to Code Consultants Inc shortly after from the secret account held by Jacob Medinger &Finnegan

1983 April 31: A report by lawyer Thomas Bezanson on the Committee of Counsel meeting says:

10. ASHRAB/BOCA (ninth)
  Newman reported that $27,000 was needed to retain engineering consultants, Finkus Overland (sp?), and, in addition, that Code Consultants, Inc . should be retained to give engineering analyses of proposed ventilation codes and to give notice of code revision hearings. [probably refers to a subsidiary of the TI consultants Fickes Engineeering and Code Group Inc. based in Texas and run by Ed Fickes.]

    He reported that Ted Sterling 's son [ Elia Sterling — an tobacco industry consultant like his father] is on the BOCA committee to revise indoor air standards. He added that a proposal to adopt the ASHRAE standard had been rejected at BOCA's January meeting.

    Newman said that imposing different ventilation requirements for smoking areas than for non-smoking areas could lead to builders constructing "non-smoking buildings." Newman, Kupp, Bernie O'Neill, and Paul Duke (C&B) will form a subcommittee to monitor and study this situation.

    It now becomes apparent why they are fighting these standard changes with such vigour. This is actually a slippery-slope argument.

1983 Oct 31: A few months after receiving the Special Projects #4 cheque, Code Consultants writes to the California Energy Commission commenting on "Regulatory Reform" but not mentioning the tobacco industry funding.

    They copy their letter to Shook Hardy & Bacon, and it is signed by George R Miller — Fire Protection Engineer. He raises the same legalistic shibboleth as he had at the BOCA hearing:

In summary, the technical questions as well as the many enforcability problems and the potential liability faced by building officials and cities who could not properly enforce the adoption of ASHRAE 62-1981 for office buildings and the questionable benefit to the public, should seriously be considered by the Energy Commission.

This appears to be the last dealings with the tobacco industry.



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