Anthony Ulasewicz, 79, a retired New York City detective who admitted distributing a quarter-million dollars in hush money to the Watergate burglars, died Dec. 17 at a hospital here. The cause of death was not disclosed.

He was a private investigator for the Nixon White House from 1969 to 1972 and admitted investigating the social life of prominent Democrats and the 1969 Chappaquiddick crash in which Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) drove a car off a bridge and a female aide drowned.

In his testimony at the Senate Watergate hearings, Mr. Ulasewicz acknowledged delivering $219,000 to G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt.

He said he thought it was for family expenses and attorney fees.

After realizing that something was not "kosher" about the money, Mr. Ulasewicz said he told Nixon's attorney, Herbert Kalmbach, that he no longer wanted to be a part of the delivery.

At one point, Mr. Ulasewicz said he had to carry so much telephone change to make arrangements for delivery of the money that he had "a bus guy's coin changer."

Mr. Ulasewicz also said he had been approached with an offer to help break into the Democratic National Headquarters in 1972 but refused.

In a 1982 interview with the Associated Press, he said that had he agreed to the burglary, no one would have been caught.

"If I had done it, there would have been no Watergate, and Nixon would have finished his presidency," Mr. Ulasewicz said.

He told the Senate committee investigating the incident that burglars made a mistake going into the headquarters with an "army."

Mr. Ulasewicz later lived in Upstate New York, working on his memoirs and at one point tending chickens named Dean, Haldeman and Ehrlichman.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Ulasewicz of Glens Falls; two sons, Thomas, of Lake Placid, N.Y., and Peter, of Chicago; three daughters, Antonette Nealon of Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., Alice Lochmann of Smithtown, N.Y., and Mary Ulasewicz of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.; two brothers; and 11 grandchildren.