NEW YORK, JULY 12 -- Nynex Corp., the normally strait-laced telephone company that serves New York and New England, today acknowledged that some employees joined with suppliers at raucous retreats replete with prostitutes and partying.

A company spokesman denied that the gatherings, known by participants as "perverts' conventions," resulted in higher rates for its customers. But Peter Goodale declined to comment on whether there was anything illegal about the activities.

The week-long Florida gatherings, held annually between 1984 and 1988, allegedly involved improper business contact between members of Nynex's purchasing division, Materiel Enterprises Co., and about 30 Nynex suppliers, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Some of the suppliers paid a significant portion of the convention expenses, and state regulators are reviewing documents showing a correlation between the suppliers' attendance at the conventions and the amount of patronage Nynex gave them, the Journal said.

Nynex stock fell $1 to $78.75 today.

The allegations are only the most recent woe in the last year for Nynex. In June, after an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney's office, a grand jury indicted a former Nynex project manager and a construction contractor in a bid-rigging scheme.

In May, the company was charged in a criminal indictment with violating the consent decree that divided the Bell System into seven "Baby Bells" in 1984. In February, the company faced a $1.4 million fine after a Federal Communications Commission audit revealed $118.5 million in alleged overcharges to Nynex subsidiaries.

And last November, the company settled a four-month-long strike by its New York employees.

According to the Journal story, documents detailing the Florida retreats surfaced during closed state regulatory meetings. The retreats featured annual traditions such as the "Procurement Award" for "arranging for women" at the convention, the "Most Valuable Pervert Award" and the "Moon Over Miami Award."

Nynex hired attorney Guy Struve to conduct an investigation into the rendezvous, who concluded, "The atmosphere at the conventions was 'boys' night out' with no serious talk of business." Later, Nynex dismissed former unit vice president Lawrence Friedman, alleged "ringleader" of the meetings, and one other employee. Friedman sued and was given a $1 million settlement, in exchange for which he pledged not to talk about the matter.

In a statement released today, Nynex called the retreats "annual private parties held by a group of individuals ... on their own time." The company said it had taken "corrective action," and that "none of the Nynex family of companies ... engaged in business activities which resulted in improper costs to Nynex customers. ...

"The corporation has not made public the names of the individuals involved, the names of their employers or details of activities which may have taken place at private parties, nor do we feel that any business or public purpose would be served by doing so."

The controversy over the Florida meetings was revealed the same day that New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams announced his opposition to a two-year, $1.4 billion rate hike requested by New York Telephone Co.

Abrams charged today that Nynex steered business through the Materiel Enterprises Co., an unregulated affiliate, when independent contractors could have filled orders at a lower cost. Abrams called it an "elaborate shell game that enriches ... Nynex at the expense of the consumer."