WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court (search) refused Monday to consider whether former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker (search) was wrongly barred from raising new arguments in challenging his 1998 conviction for tax conspiracy.
Tucker pleaded guilty to the charge, but now wants to have his conviction overturned based on new information. His attorney had asked the court to use the case to clarify when defendants can get new evidence before a judge.
Separately, Tucker was convicted of fraud and conspiracy in 1996 in a joint trial with former President Clinton's one-time business partners, James and Susan McDougal (search). They had been accused of scheming in the mid-1980s to make illegal loans.
An independent counsel spent more than six years investigating the business dealings of the Clintons. In all, 14 people were convicted in what became known as the Whitewater investigations.
Tucker's tax charge stemmed from the sale of a cable television business. Prosecutors alleged then that he was trying to get out of paying $3 million in federal income taxes.
His lawyer, Jeffrey Rosenzweig of Little Rock, Ark., told justices that the government used the wrong law to calculate that amount, and that he actually owed little if any taxes.
"Had this information been disclosed before trial, Tucker might have been entitled to dismissal of the indictment for government misconduct," Rosenzweig told justices in a filing.
The case is Tucker v. United States, 04-83.