Arkansas Ex-Governor Pleads Guilty

Former Governor Jim Guy Tucker pleaded guilty Friday to setting up a sham bankruptcy that saved him and a partner $3 million in federal income taxes after the sale of a cable television business in Florida.

In a plea agreement with Whitewater prosecutors, who filed the charges, Tucker will be placed on probation. There was no immediate word on whether he will be required to help investigators who are looking into President Clinton's Arkansas business dealings.

In a hearing before U.S. District Judge Stephen M. Reasoner, Tucker admitted not disclosing the sale of a Plantation, Fla., cable television system when filing papers as part of a bankruptcy filing in Texas in the 1980s.

"I plead guilty," Tucker said. "I accept responsibility for it."

The former governor said his personal lawyer, John Haley, would plead guilty separately to a misdemeanor.

The plea came the day after jury selection began in Tucker's trial on the cable deal.

Tucker resigned after being convicted in a separate case brought by Whitewater prosecutors in 1996. He was sentenced to four years' probation, including 18 months of home detention that expired Thursday.

Tucker also has battled health problems in recent years and underwent a liver transplant.

By DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press Writer. ©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed