Former Arkansas governor Jim Guy Tucker will appeal his Whitewater-related conviction and has no plans to cooperate with federal prosecutors to win a lighter sentence when he goes before a Little Rock judge Monday, according to one of Tucker's lawyers.
Darrell F. Brown, Tucker's lawyer in Little Rock, said yesterday that Tucker has no information to offer independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's investigation of financial deals stemming from the Whitewater land deal involving President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"We don't have anything to offer the independent counsel would want," Brown said. "The question of cooperation does not seriously arise. They have not approached us with anything we could consider a request for cooperation," and Tucker has not volunteered any.
Brown also said Tucker will file an appeal of his May 28 fraud conviction within the 10-day period beginning Monday allowed by the courts. "The case was tried in such a manner that we want to preserve all our rights," Brown said. The courts have denied two motions filed by Tucker for a retrial. An appeal could leave the issue unresolved for months, and Tucker faces a second tax conspiracy case being brought by Starr's office.
Tucker, who resigned as governor after his conviction, and Clinton's former Whitewater business partner, James B. McDougal, are to be sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. in Little Rock. Tucker, McDougal and McDougal's ex-wife, Susan, were convicted by a jury in Little Rock of conspiring to arrange nearly $3 million in fraudulent loans from McDougal's savings and loan and a federally backed lending company. Susan McDougal is to be sentenced Tuesday.
James McDougal has offered to cooperate with the independent counsel with the possibility of reducing his sentence. McDougal may have information about the Clintons' involvement in matters Starr is investigating, including Hillary Clinton's work as a private lawyer for one of McDougal's Arkansas real estate developments, Castle Grande. McDougal's lawyer could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Bobby McDaniel, a Jonesboro, Ark., lawyer representing Susan McDougal, has said his client is not planning to cooperate with prosecutors. Instead, she is exploring the possibility of a motion for retrial or an appeal.
On Monday, Tucker's attorneys will offer testimony to show that Tucker's health is so poor that a prison term could endanger his life. Tucker, 53, who faces up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, suffers from a degenerative intestinal condition that required the surgical removal of his colon. His lawyers have said in court motions that Tucker is awaiting a liver transplant and that post-transplant treatment could be dangerous in prison.