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Fugitive seeks money he gave to Sen. Clinton

Published Sep. 10, 2005

The name of Edward G. Rendell has cropped up in two recent civil actions filed by a man with a criminal record who entered high-level fundraising circles during the 2000 campaign season.

In a civil suit, Peter F. Paul, 52, alleges he spoke to Rendell, then chairman of the Democratic National Committee, about getting a presidential pardon during a talk in which Rendell was soliciting a contribution for the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Paul also contends Rendell told him that by contributing to the DNC he could get access to President Clinton and pitch a proposal to honor a business partner.

Through a spokesman, Rendell denied any impropriety or quid pro quo, said he never sought a donation from Paul for the DNC and raised questions about the political leanings of Paul's lawyers.

Rendell's name appears in connection with complaints Paul has made about a fundraising event he helped stage for Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign in Los Angeles in August. Paul sent a complaint to the Federal Elections Commission this week saying Clinton's campaign filed "false and misleading" campaign finance reports covering Paul's contributions.

In the complaint, Paul said he spent about $1.9-million to put on the event _ attended by former President Bill Clinton and Hollywood stars including Cher _ at a private home in Los Angeles.

He contends that FEC reports submitted by the Clinton camp show that he contributed just $2,000 to her campaign in June 2000. (The contribution was later returned after press reports of Paul's criminal record). Paul says the fundraiser netted about $1.5-million for the candidate.

Rendell, former mayor of Philadelphia and likely candidate for governor in 2002, is named as one of eight respondents in the civil complaint, along with Hillary and Bill Clinton.

In a separate civil suit filed in June in Los Angeles, Paul asks that his money be returned. Paul is represented by Judicial Watch, which filed lawsuits against the Clinton administration.

Paul served time in prison in the 1980s on cocaine and fraud charges. He was indicted in June on charges that he manipulated the stock, Stan Lee Media.

Paul is now living in Brazil, and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York is seeking his extradition.