The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on July 1, 1999 · Page 3
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July 1, 1999

The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 3

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Galveston, Texas
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Thursday, July 1, 1999
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Page 3
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GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS THURSDAY, JULY 1,1999 •D\in \i ; \\s A3 Itarr' The Associated Press WASHINGTON - On the day the independent counsel law expired, Kenneth Starr wrapped up the Whitewater phase of his investigation Wednesday with guilty pleas from presidential friend Webster Hubbell and declared he's seeking an "orderly conclusion" to the rest of his work. Hubbell, the former No. 3 Justice Department official, was sentenced to a year of probation after pleading guilty to a broadly worded felony charge that- accused him of concealing his and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's legal work on a fraudulent Arkansas land project. That deal with Starr averted possible testimony by the first lady at his trial, which had been scheduled to begin Aug. 9. Hubbell also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of failing to pay income tax in a deal that dropped tax charges against his A Prosecutor Kenneth Starr faces reporters outside U.S. Federal Court on Wednesday In Washington. Starr wrapped up the Arkansas phase of his five-year Investigation Wednesday with two fresh guilty pleas from Webster Hubbell. (AP) wife, his accountant and his tax attorney as well. "After five years, it's over. The office of independent counsel has finally agreed to leave me, my Lawyer gets probation >r stealing racemai our lives can begin again," Hubbell said outside the federal courthouse. Starr said the guilty pleas ended the Arkansas phase of his at the Clintons' Whitewater real- estate investment and other business and private dealings. He said he was trying to wrap up other aspects in an "orderly fashion" but that a federal grand jury was still looking into certain allegations. Starr declined to be more specific, but legal sources familiar with the investigation, speaking only on condition of anonymity, said those allegations involve: • The 1993 purge of the White House travel office and whether Hillary Clinton directed the firings. She says she did not. • Maryland developer and Democratic Party contributor Nathan Landow. A recently released FBI polygraph report says presidential accuser Kathleen Willey has alleged that Landow suggested possible testimony she could give in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case. Landow nnany agreed TO leave me, my enucu ui«= «**»«*"«•-" r .._™ „»—„ auvuuAiuuuuu***^.*- ™~. ——— family and my friends alone. And five-year investigation that looked denies doing anything wrong. New hearing in bombing case ordered The Associated Press CINCINNATI — A former Chiquita lawyer accused of stealing voice-mail messages from the banana company that were used in a newspaper expose pleaded no contest to reduced charges Wednesday and got two years on probation. George G. Ventura entered his plea to misdemeanor charges of attempted unauthorized access to computer systems. In exchange, prosecutors dropped 10 felony charges that carried up to 12/2 years in prison. In addition to putting him on probation, Common Pleas Judge Ann Marie Tracey ordered him to perform 40 hours of community service. "I will say, Mr. Ventura, that as an attorney, I'm appalled at the betrayal of trust to your client and to the legal profession," the judge said. Tm sure you understand that your fellow lawyers here do not appreciate your conduct." Prosecutors had accused Ventura of providing The Cincinnati Enquirer with se- j cret access codes for the voice- j mailboxes of executives of j Cincinnati-based Chiquita ! Brands International Inc. Ven- j tura had access to the codes j because he was Chiquita's i legal counsel in Honduras j from 1991 to 1996. j The Enquirer used the voice j mail in preparing a May 1998 ' series on alleged improper j business practices by Chiq- i uita — stories that Chiquita j said gave a slanted portrayal j of the company. ! The following month, the j Enquirer renounced the articles, fired reporter Michael Gallagher and paid Chiquita more than $10 million, acknowledging the stories were based in part on stolen voice mail. Gallagher pleaded guilty in September to illegally gaining access to Chiquita's voice mail system. He could get up to 2'/a i years in prison at sentencing , July 16. Gallagher also identified Ventura as one of his confidential sources. The case has cost Ventura his job with a Salt Lake City law firm, he faces thousands of dollars in legal bills, and his license could be suspended or revoked. In court, Ventura spoke up only to confirm that he understood and accepted the plea bargain. In a statement given to reporters, Ventura said he was promised anonymity as a source for the Enquirer but was betrayed. The Associated Press DENVER — A former friend of Timothy McVeigh who went to prison for failing to alert authorities to the Oklahoma City bombing could soon be free now that a federal appeals court threw out his 12-year sentence Wednesday. A three-judge panel said the guidelines used were too harsh and ordered another sentencing hearing for Michael Fortier. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Fortier's sentence should have been based on federal guidelines for involuntarily manslaughter rather than the significantly higher guidelines for first-degree murder. "The sentence was improper, as we argued all along," said Michael McGuire, Fortier's attorney. Terry Nichols, admitting he helped McVeigh sell stolen weapons and lied to FBI agents. The 1995 bombing killed 168 people. Prosecutors argued that Fortier The lesser guidelines would knew the money would be used to have put Fortier's sentence at a finance the bomb plot. But -- " ' Fortier's lawyers said McVeigh and Nichols did not tell him how they planned to use the money from the sale of stolen weapons. McVeigh was convicted of murder, conspiracy and weapons charges. He is appealing his maximum of 51 months, McGuire said. Fortier began serving his sentence in August 1995. Myron MarUn, a Justice Department spokesman, wouldn't comment until prosecutors had a chance to review the opinion. Fortier, 30, pleaded guilty to having knowledge of the plot to bomb the federal building. He testified against McVeigh and death sentence. Nichols was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy and sentenced to life. Killer sentenced to death for crime spree SANTA ANA, Calif. — A serial killer who videotaped victims begging for their lives was sentenced to death Wednesday for a spree of sexual torture and murder. Charles Ng, a 3S-year-old Hong Kong immigrant and former Marine, was convicted of murdering 11 people — six men, three women and two baby boys. Ng imprisoned, tortured and raped the women, who were lured to a cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills, 150 miles east of San Francisco, that belonged to Leonard Lake, a friend of Ng's. Study: Heart valve defect not dangerous The millions of Americans who have been told they have a serious, sometimes fatal heart defect called mitral valve prolapse probably have nothing to fear, researchers say. The condition, long considered a "hidden epidemic" afflicting 5 percent to 30 percent of Americans, is far less dangerous — and less common — than doctors believed, two studies show. Doctors have routinely warned patients that the condition, while often symptomless, might require surgery to prevent complications that can cause sudden death. But researchers determined that the patients who actually had mi- tral valve prolapse suffered those complications at about the same rate, just 6 percent, as a healthy comparison group 4 . Amish men sentenced for role in drug ring PHILADELPHIA — Two Amish men were sentenced to a year in prison Wednesday for conspiring to sell cocaine to fellow members of the sect. Abner Stoltzfus, 25, and Abner King Stoltzfus, 24, who are not related, also got five years of probation and were fined $1,100 each. The men were accused last year of buying cocaine from a Philadelphia-area motorcycle gang called the Pagans. Seven people connected to the gang were sentenced Tuesday for roles in the drug ring. The arrests exposed how modern problems have seeped into the world of the religious sect in Lancaster Count/. Procter & Gamble to end animal testing CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble Co., the maker of Crest, Tide, Pampers and Ivory soap, said Wednesday it will immediately stop using animals to test many of its household products. P&G made exceptions for its current food and pharmaceutical products and for any new • products. In some cases, animal testing is required by law, and P&G said such practices will continue. Larry Games, P&G vice president of global product safety, said the new policy is effective immediately in the more than 140 countries in which P&G operates. The Associated Press Company to pay $3 million to settle customer-data suit The Associated Press ST. PAUL, Minn. - U.S. Ban- corp agreed Wednesday to pay states and charities $3 million to settle allegations it illegally sold confidential customer information to a telemarketer. The amount equals the commissions the bank earned on the sale of the information. Western states were affected by U.S. Bancorp, the nation's 13th- the bank's action, largest bank holding company, is After he sued U.S. Bancorp, the parent company-ofU.S. Bank. Wells Fargo and Bank of America The allegations were contained agreed to stop the practice, too. in a lawsuit filed earlier this Habitat for Humanity in Min- month by state Attorney General nesota will receive $1.5 million, Mike Hatch. Hatch said about 1 million people in 17 Midwestern and the state of Minnesota will get $500,000, and other charities and states will get $1 million. FIRST 3 MONTHS FREE "12 month minimum Join Now for Only $ 99 GOLDS GYM 4fttO SEAWALL ^63-5448 JUNIORS SHORTS Orig. $25-828 Orig. $39-848 Keep your cool this season with a selection of summer-friendly denim and twill shorts from Levi's. Choose from assorted styles, lengths and washes. Even more savings on the classic designer styles you love. Choose from denim or twill shorts in various lengths, styles and washes for a great summer look all season long. Dilland Selected styles. Selection varies by store. n. All items subject to prior sale t, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or Diners Club card 6P.M. 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