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Sharpton Says He Has No Assets

December 7, 2000

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) _ The Rev. Al Sharpton said he cannot afford to pay $65,000 to the former prosecutor he slandered with comments about the faked abduction and rape of a 15-year-old girl.

``I keep hearing (in the media) that I’m supposed to have houses in the Bahamas, or at least a yacht,″ the civil rights activist said in Thursday’s Poughkeepsie Journal. ``I’ve been investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, and if Uncle Sam can’t find anything, I sure don’t have anything.″

An attorney for former district attorney Steven Pagones said after a court-ordered meeting on Wednesday that he would continue to investigate Sharpton’s finances before both parties return to court in January.

Sharpton, along with Vernon Mason and attorney Alton Maddox Jr., was found liable for slander after the three accused and a group of white friends of repeatedly raping Tawana Brawley, who is black, in 1987.

The racially charged case that gained national attention. A grand jury later concluded that Brawley concocted the story.

A federal marshal has been collecting about 10 percent of Sharpton’s salary from his job as director of the National Action Network and turning the money over to Pagones.

Sharpton said Pagones had rejected his offer to pay $20,000 immediately and make additional payments over the next two years.

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