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Ex-Democrat Guilty Of Bribery

February 21, 2001

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) _ Paul Adler, a former Rockland County Democratic chairman who was a fund-raiser for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery and tax evasion charges.

In exchange for the pleas, which relate to a 14-count indictment filed last year, federal prosecutors agreed to recommend 18 to 24 months in prison when Adler is sentenced in May.

Adler, 42, a real estate broker, was party chairman from 1996 until he was arrested in September.

He admitted in court that he ``offered to use my political contacts″ to get a government job for a local planning board member in exchange for approval of a subdivision. The subdivision was never approved and the board member did not get a government job.

Adler also admitted understating his income for 1996 and 1997 by more than $200,000. He said he took illegal deductions, including declaring as a charitable contribution the tuition he paid for his children’s private schooling.

Attorney Murray Richman said the tax charge ``seemed to break the camel’s back″ in Adler’s decision to plead guilty. The other charges, he said, were ``defendable.″

Adler declined to comment.

His name surfaced on a list of overnight guests at the White House. Karen Dunn, a spokeswoman for Clinton, said the senator ``knows that this must be a very painful time for the Adler family and her thoughts are with them.″

Adler must refile his tax returns for 1996 through 1998. Richman said he would be paying $60,000 to $70,000 in additional taxes.

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