Formal action in suit against Clinton delayed

May 06, 1994|By Michael Haddigan | Michael Haddigan,Special to The Sun

LITTLE ROCK, ARK — LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The scheduled time came and went, and still there was no word on the filing of a former state employee's sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton.

Confused reporters waited for three hours yesterday before a law clerk for a Washington, D.C.-area firm announced a delay, saying that the suit would be filed today.

"For reasons we are not at liberty to disclose, we are not filing the complaint by Paula Corbin Jones today. We intend to file the complaint tomorrow at 10 a.m.," said the prepared statement read by William Stanley, a clerk with the Gilbert K. Davis law firm of Fairfax, Va.

Asked if Ms. Jones had decided to drop the allegation against the president, Mr. Stanley said: "No, it is not withdrawn."

Today is the last day before the three-year statute of limitations expires.

Ms. Jones, a former Arkansas Industrial Development Commission worker, has said that then-Gov. Bill Clinton made unwanted sexual advances to her in 1991 in a Little Rock hotel room during a state conference.

It was the third delay in the lawsuit by Ms. Jones, who held a Washington news conference to publicize her allegations Feb. 11 at a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Committee.

Cradling sound booms, cameras and notebooks, more than 50 grumbling reporters and photographers waited in 85-degree heat for the planned 2 p.m. news conference. Satellite transmission trucks lined the curb, and reporters lounged in the shade of courthouse shrubbery.

Some journalists resorted during the long wait to interviewing a leisure-suited Elvis Presley look-alike who happened by.

Just after 5 p.m., Mr. Stanley arrived to read the statement surrounded by journalists from news organizations ranging from the New York Times and Newsweek to People magazine and the tabloid television show "A Current Affair."

Daniel M. Traylor, the Little Rock lawyer representing Ms. Jones, had announced the news conference. Mr. Stanley said Mr. Davis and another lawyer with the firm, Joseph Cammarata, were now working on the suit.

Mr. Stanley would not say whether Mr. Traylor still represented Ms. Jones.

He said Mr. Davis was a former federal prosecutor and Mr. Cammarata was a former Justice Department tax litigator.

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