Sen. Clinton's Brother Back in Court for Debts Owed to Carnival Operator

The brother of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is being asked again to appear in court on debts owed to a carnival operator whose owners received pardons from President Bill Clinton.

A bankruptcy trustee asked a federal judge on Thursday to schedule a new court date on the allegation that Tony Rodham failed to repay $109,000 in loans from the now-defunct United Shows of America Inc.

Edgar Allen Gregory Jr. and his wife, Vonna Jo, owners of United Shows, received pardons for bank fraud in 2000 after Rodham asked the president, his brother-in-law, to intervene on their behalf. Rodham's sister, a New York Democrat, is running for president in 2008.

A report by the Republican-controlled House Committee on Government Reform in 2002 concluded that United Shows paid Rodham $240,000 for undocumented consulting services and that President Clinton was interested in the pardons solely because of his contacts with Rodham.

The Gregorys denied paying or promising Rodham for anything related to the pardons. The loans their company gave to Rodham occurred both before and after the pardons were issued.

Edgar Gregory filed for bankruptcy in 2002 for two family businesses, including United Shows, which operates state and regional fairs and carnivals across the southeastern U.S. The company stopped operating in 2004, the year Gregory died.

Nashville-based federal bankruptcy trustee Michael Collins said he has tried to get Rodham to repay the loans for almost two years. Collins had Rodham's accounts frozen in 2005 after Rodham failed to respond to an initial complaint. A judge ruled that Rodham was in default on the loans but later released the accounts after Rodham appealed.

Collins said the latest filing seeks to establish "realistic deadlines for the future progression of this litigation."

Rodham's lawyers in Virginia did not immediately return phone calls on Thursday seeking comment.