Arkansas Business' 25 Clintonites (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

The highly respected lawyer felt the pressures of the political fray in Washington too keenly. He'd told friends and family of his unhappiness. On the day before he died, he'd received a prescription from his Little Rock doctor for an antidepressant. Critical editorials in The Wall Street Journal pained him.

Before he died, Foster wrote: "I was not meant for the spotlight of public life in Washington. Here ruining people is considered sport."

It was perhaps inevitable that conspiracy theories would arise about Foster's death; however, a number of official reports, including one by Kenneth Starr, concluded Foster's death was a suicide.

6. David Hale
David Hale was a Pulaski County municipal judge. He was also a crook, something he admitted on the stand in one of his two trials.

His Capital Management Services, a lending company, received money from the Small Business Administration. The SBA seized the company Sept. 14, 1993, and, 10 days later, Hale and two associates were charged in federal court with defrauding the federal agency.

Hale resigned as judge and accused Jim Guy Tucker, then governor of Arkansas, and Bill Clinton of pressuring him for illegal loans, adding fuel to the Whitewater fire. He also said he made a loan to Susan McDougal.

In March 1994, the former judge pleaded guilty to two felony charges involving Capital Management. He agreed to the plea in exchange for cooperating with the first independent counsel, Robert Fiske Jr., in his investigation of Whitewater Development Corp.

Hale testified in the 1996 fraud trial of Tucker and Jim and Susan McDougal, during which he attempted to link Jim McDougal and Clinton in illegal financial dealings. Defense lawyers said Hale was just trying to please Kenneth Starr, who had replaced Fiske as independent counsel.

In 1999, a jury convicted Hale in a separate case in which he was accused of lying to insurance regulators. In testimony during that trial, Hale admitted that he frequently broke the law. "He said he committed perjury, stole from the federal government, and 'dummied up' records. 'It was a total scam,'" he said, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's report.

Hale spent some time in prison, but in 2001, Gov. Mike Huckabee commuted his sentence for lying in the insurance case.

7. Kaki Hockersmith
This Little Rock interior designer was called on by the Clintons to spiff up the White House, probably the most important decorating job in the world. Like everything having to do with the Clintons, controversy ensued.

Hockersmith went Victorian on the Treaty Room and the Lincoln Sitting Room. Victorian is not a restrained style. Victorian is velvet and gilt surfaces and dark wood.



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