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07/20/98- Updated 06:34 PM ET
The Nation's Homepage

Democratic fund-raiser pleads guilty

WASHINGTON - Miami business executive Howard Glicken, a veteran Democratic fund-raiser and friend of Vice President Al Gore, pleaded guilty Monday and agreed to pay $120,000 in penalties for soliciting a campaign contribution from a foreigner.

Glicken declined to comment after pleading guilty in federal court. U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. set sentencing for Nov. 24.

Glicken is one of eight people charged so far by the Justice Department's campaign finance task force.

He admitted seeking the $20,000 contribution for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 1993 from a foreign national, who cannot legally donate to U.S. campaigns. He also admitted suggesting that the donation be made in the name of a legal donor.

The maximum penalty for each of the two misdemeanor counts is one year in prison, a $100,000 fine, and a $25 special assessment.

In a plea agreement with the Justice Department, Glicken agreed to a criminal penalty of $80,000 and 500 hours of community service. And he agreed to pay a civil fine of $40,000, which must be negotiated with the Federal Election Commission.

Glicken also agreed to cooperate in the campaign finance task force's ongoing investigations.

Though he was not named in the Justice Department indictment, the foreign national who made the $20,000 in the name of his secretary was German developer Thomas Kramer. The Federal Election Commission last year fined Kramer a record $323,000 for making $418,600 in illegal campaign contributions to Republican and Democratic federal, state and local parties and candidates in 1993 and 1994.

Kramer had told the FEC that he received a suggestion to make a $20,000 contribution to the Democratic senatorial committee in the name of his secretary, Terri Bradley. Neither Kramer nor Bradley identified the person who made the suggestion.

The FEC decided not to pursue a case against Glicken, who has raised millions of dollars for the party and had been expected to play a role in Gore's 2000 presidential campaign. He also has played golf with President Clinton, been an overnight guest at the White House, and attended White House coffee meetings with Gore.

After Glicken was charged, a Gore aide, requesting anonymity, said he foresaw no role for Glicken in the vice president's future political activities.

FEC Counsel Lawrence Noble told the commission that the ''available evidence'' suggested Glicken brought four contributions from Kramer to the Democrats. But Noble advised against pursuing the case because Glicken was likely to contest the FEC's findings, and the agency would not have time to conduct a full investigation before the statute of limitations expired.

By The Associated Press

Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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