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Legal Foundation Says It Filed Complaint Against Mrs. Clinton

October 24, 1996

LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ A conservative legal foundation said Thursday it has filed an ethics complaint against Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Arkansas Supreme Court over a 10-year-old real estate document she worked on.

The Landmark Legal Foundation said it asked the court’s Committee on Professional Conduct to look into whether Mrs. Clinton violated state ethics laws in helping prepare the land option document in 1986.

``There is a whole set of rules, rules of professional conduct, that exist in each state. We’ve asked the committee to look into this matter,″ said Mark Levin, who said he filed the complaint for Landmark.

A secretary at the state professional conduct committee said the office could not confirm whether a complaint had been filed.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. concluded in a report last month that the document drafted by Mrs. Clinton in 1986 was used by Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan to mislead regulators and hide commissions it was paying to a prominent businessman. Mrs. Clinton was not accused of any wrongdoing.

Landmark represents Jean Lewis who, while working for the federal Resolution Trust Corp. in 1992 and 1993, pursued a criminal investigation of Madison Guaranty, which was owned by James and Susan McDougal, President and Mrs. Clinton’s Whitewater business partners.

The document Mrs. Clinton helped draft put a $400,000 price tag on vacant land south of Little Rock, Ark. But the 22.5-acre parcel fetched a mere $38,000 when the federal government _ in the bailout of the S&L industry _ unloaded it in the early 1990s.

Over the years, the property, called Holman Acres, was assigned values between $70,000 and $170,000 _ but never anything close to the price tag in the real estate option handled by the first lady as a lawyer in 1986, records show.

Neal Lattimore, a spokesman for the first lady, did not return telephone calls left for him at a hotel in Little Rock, where his office said he was planning election day activities.

Whitewater criminal investigators are looking into whether the land price was inflated as part of a scheme by Madison Guaranty to disguise improper real estate commissions to prominent Little Rock businessman Seth Ward. Ward is the father-in-law of a former law partner of Mrs. Clinton, Webster Hubbell. Hubbell, a former associate attorney general, is in prison for bilking clients while he was at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock.

Mrs. Clinton said in sworn answers earlier this year that she recalls nothing about her work on Holman Acres, but conceded that word processing codes on the documents indicated at least some of the documents were produced by her.

``I do not believe I would have drafted such real estate documents from scratch,″ Mrs. Clinton said. ``I have no recollection of who may have asked me to prepare these documents.″

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