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New York Post Gives Up Tapes of Pataki Conversations

The New York Post is complying with federal subpoenas connected to its reports about recorded telephone conversations involving Gov. George Pataki, his wife, top aides and others, a Post spokesman said Monday.

One subpoena seeks grand jury testimony from the Post's state editor, Albany-based Fredric U. Dicker, who wrote about the conversations in August after receiving a tape of the conversations anonymously, the newspaper Monday. Another subpoena asked for the tape and the envelope in which it arrived.

"They have already turned the tapes over to the FBI. They have met with the FBI and they are fully cooperating," Post spokesman Howard Rubenstein told The Associated Press.

Recording telephone conversations without a court order is illegal in New York unless one of the parties in the conversation is aware of the taping.

Among other things, the recorded conversations featured discussions, often in blunt and graphic terms, about patronage hiring by the Pataki administration. In one conversation, the governor's wife, Libby Pataki complained about the lack of publicity she was receiving.

"Ultimately, it's important to be sure that no laws were broken and no crimes were committed," Pataki spokesman David Catalfamo told the AP on Monday.

The Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., has said the conversations appeared to have been recorded in 1996 and possibly 1997.

Two FBI agents interviewed Dicker for 45 minutes last week, the newspaper reported.

It said the investigation was being directed by U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia, based in New York City. A Garcia spokeswoman, Bridget Kelly, refused to comment Monday.

Pataki, who took office in 1995, announced last summer that he would not seek a fourth, four-year term this year. He is eyeing a run for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.