Ex-trooper sentenced for lying to FBI agent
3 yearsí probation, fine ordered in Quitman case
BY LINDA SATTER ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
A federal judge on Thursday imposed a $1,000 fine and probation for a former Arkansas state trooper who made national news years ago with reports that he had once arranged sexual trysts for former President Clinton while he was governor.
Larry Patterson was fined and sentenced to three yearsí probation, beginning with three months of home detention, for his negotiated guilty plea last August to one count of making a false statement to a federal agent.
Now 60, Patterson admitted lying in an interview on March 9, 2004, about an incident that occurred on Feb. 20, 2002, while he was chief of the Quitman Police Department and was arresting a man. The FBI was investigating whether the manís civil rights were violated in the arrest.
Patterson told the agent that he "only shoved Shawn Luepkes, and he did not otherwise hit Shawn Luepkes," when he actually had hit the man.
Pattersonís attorney, Jack Lassiter of Little Rock, said last summer that Patterson was trying to arrest Luepkes at a convenience store on a public intoxication charge when Luepkes tried to escape in a police car and a scuffle ensued. The altercation resumed after Patterson got the man to the police station.
Patterson, now retired, said he is permanently disabled as a result of the fracas, which required two operations on his shoulder.
In 1993, Patterson and trooper Roger Perry were quoted in articles in the conservative publication The American Spectator as saying that they had arranged sexual liaisons for Clinton while serving as part of his security detail.
The articles didnít name Paula Corbin Jones, but led her to file a sexual harassment suit against Clinton that ultimately was dismissed. Clintonís court-ordered testimony in that lawsuit eventually led to impeachment proceedings against him.
Meanwhile, a conservative fundraiser admitted in 1998 that he had paid the troopers $6,700 each after the articles were published. The admission prompted David Brock, the author of the articles, to apologize to Clinton, saying he didnít know the troopers were paid.
On Thursday, several current and former law enforcement officers appeared at Pattersonís sentencing hearing in the Little Rock courtroom of U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. to show their support for him.
The charge was punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 or both. However, federal sentencing guidelines recommended a penalty range of 0 to 6 months in prison.
Howard told Patterson that he had received "numerous letters" from across the state from people "who speak highly of your performance over the years" and who "emphasize that you have good character."
Because of those letters, Howard said, "Iím going to give you a break." He then ordered the probation, the fine and restitution amounts of about $1,000 to pay the hospital and doctor bills of the injured man.
An attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, which prosecuted Patterson, asked Howard only to impose a sentence that was "consistent with the guidelines."
This story was published Friday, March 11, 2005
Good Ole Boys like these give Law Enforcement a black eye.