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Remember Hillary Bag Man John Burgess?

From May of just last year?

You might not, since the news was buried in this typically verbose article in the New York Times:

Rubbing Shoulders With Trouble, and Presidents

By MIKE McINTIRE

May 7, 2006

John R. Burgess makes for an improbable courtier of presidents, or of a senator who might become one.

A disbarred New York lawyer with a criminal record for attempted larceny and patronizing a 16-year-old prostitute, Mr. Burgess owns International Profit Associates, a management consulting company in Illinois.

Federal authorities are pressing a sexual harassment suit against the company on behalf of 113 former female employees.

The Illinois attorney general is investigating accusations of deceptive marketing tactics, officials say, and the company has been the subject of 470 complaints to the Better Business Bureau across the nation in the past three years.

But despite the trail of problems dating to the 1980′s, many prominent politicians have accepted campaign contributions and speaking fees from Mr. Burgess and his company, which offers organizational and financial advice, mostly to owners of small businesses, and claims annual revenues of more than $200 million.

Former President George Bush was paid $82,000 to speak at a company banquet in 1999, and former President Bill Clinton received $125,000 to appear in 2001.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has collected more than $150,000 in contributions from executives of International Profit Associates, some as recently as September, and spoke at a company event in 2004. As a group, company officials and their spouses are one of the largest sources of contributions to Mrs. Clinton’s re-election campaign.

Mr. Bush, Mr. Clinton and Mrs. Clinton all say they were not aware of problems with the company, known as I.P.A., or with Mr. Burgess when they took the money, though some problems were documented as early as 1997 in newspapers, magazines and on the Internet.

Other politicians have returned money to I.P.A. upon learning of Mr. Burgess’s history, among them Rod Blagojevich, the Democratic governor of Illinois, and Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat running for attorney general of New York. Mr. Cuomo gave back $20,000 in 2002, when he was running for governor, and Mr. Blagojevich returned $125,000 the same year. Just last month, Wisconsin’s governor, Jim Doyle, and attorney general, Peg Lautenschlager, said they would return $35,000 in I.P.A. contributions.

A spokeswoman for Mrs. Clinton said her campaign “will be reviewing” the I.P.A. contributions

[Burgess] said that his two arrests in the 1980′s “occurred long ago” and that his accomplishments building I.P.A. since then “are far more representative of my character and contribution to society.”

“I do not deny that I have made mistakes in the past,” Mr. Burgess wrote, adding, “We make it a point at I.P.A. to judge people on their performance, not their past.”

Myron M. Cherry, a Chicago lawyer who represents I.P.A. in several legal matters, said that he believed Mr. Burgess first met Mr. Clinton at a fund-raising event that Mr. Cherry held at his home in 2000.

Mr. Cherry, who raises money for many Democrats and helped arrange at least some of the I.P.A. contributions to Mrs. Clinton, said Mr. Burgess’s background was irrelevant to determining whether to accept his money or services.

“John is a really nice guy who has helped a lot of people,” he said. “He should not be defined by what he did 24 years ago.”

The spokeswoman for Mrs. Clinton, Ann Lewis, said Mrs. Clinton was not aware of Mr. Burgess’s background when he held fund-raising affairs for her in 2000 and 2003, nor did she know whether other prominent Democrats had rejected contributions. She said that Mrs. Clinton’s vetting procedures have been strengthened since the senator’s appearance at I.P.A.

In 1997, the Chicago Tribune noted that Mr. Burgess had been disbarred and pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny in upstate New York in 1988 after being accused of stealing $15,739 from a client’s account.

In June 2000, an article in Inc. magazine reported that Mr. Burgess pleaded guilty to patronizing a teenage prostitute in 1984 and that I.P.A. had falsely claimed that Mr. Burgess served on a White House advisory committee on small businesses. The Web site for the Lawyers Fund for Client Protection in Albany, a state bar program that reimburses clients defrauded by their attorneys, shows it has paid $30,868 to six former clients of Mr. Burgess from the 1980′s

The Better Business Bureau said that I.P.A. had resolved most of the 470 complaints against it, but that the company had received an unsatisfactory rating because it had failed to remedy the root causes, including accusations of high-pressure sales tactics, poor quality service and aggressive debt collections.

The Illinois state attorney general’s office said it has received more than 200 complaints since 2001 and is investigating the company.

Deborah Hagan, chief of consumer protection for the attorney general’s office, said that I.P.A. paid $20,000 in 1998 to settle accusations that it improperly withheld payment to former employees and that it agreed in 2004 to better inform clients of their rights and obligations.

“The thing that is of concern to me is that the complaints have just continued,” she said…

I.P.A.’s troubles extend beyond client complaints. For almost five years, the firm has been battling a lawsuit filed by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which asserts that its executives had routinely harassed female subordinates with crude comments, groping and demands for sex. Mr. Burgess himself was accused by a former employee of making comments about her body and “telling her that her future with the company depended on having sex with him,” the lawsuit said

“This is probably the most egregious case of sex harassment that the Chicago district office has seen,” Ms. Smason said in an interview. “The owner of the company engaged in harassment, and that set the tone for the company, on down.” …

I.P.A. did not limit itself to paying speaking fees. In 2000, the company and its executives contributed $400,000 to the national Democratic Party and $50,000 to Mrs. Clinton’s Senate campaign. Since then, employees of the firm and their spouses have contributed an additional $107,000 to the Clinton campaign. Company officials have also given about $30,000 to the national Republican Party in recent years.

For their support of the Democrats in 2000, Mr. Burgess and his wife, Dana, were rewarded in September of that year with an invitation to a state dinner at the White House for the prime minister of India. When Mr. Clinton appeared at I.P.A.’s banquet in December 2001, he thanked the Burgesses “for being such good friends to Hillary and to me” and praised I.P.A.’s work with small businesses.

“The small and medium-size businesses that you helped to flourish fueled America’s economic growth,” Mr. Clinton said.

Boiling it down from the NYT’s opaque text, Hillary Clinton accepted at least $157,000 in donations from a company owned by John Burgess, a disbarred New York lawyer with a criminal record for attempted larceny and patronizing a sixteen-year-old prostitute.

And when informed of this, Mrs. Bill Clinton refused to return the money. Even though other pols, like the Cuomos, were shamed into doing so.

(Mind you, this is the same Hillary Clinton who demanded that Barack Obama return contributions from David Geffen because Mr. Geffen had the temerity to call the Clintons “liars.”)

The spokeswoman for Mrs. Clinton, Ann Lewis, said Mrs. Clinton was not aware of Mr. Burgess’s background when he held fund-raising affairs for her in 2000 and 2003, nor did she know whether other prominent Democrats had rejected contributions. She said that Mrs. Clinton’s vetting procedures have been strengthened since the senator’s appearance at I.P.A.

Sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, September 12th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Remember Hillary Bag Man John Burgess?”

  1. katiewon

    Despite John’s protests, the accusations do not come as a surprise to those of us who know him – it is EXACTLY how he is. I think the character of Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street” was modeled after John. Right down to the slick backed hair, suspenders, incredible work ethic and complete narcissism, greed and a total lack of conscience. John could have coined the phrase “greed is good.” How do I know this? Back in the early 80′s I knew John VERY well. I was privvy to the events with the 16 yr old girl and what really happened. In his defense that was a set up by the Buffalo Police Department. He was such a zealous and successful attorney, who didn’t mind pissing off the wrong people especially cops. Back then Buffalo was so rampant with corruption, that he was targeted by BPD where he was most vulnerable. If I remember correctly, the 16 yr old girl was the sister of a Buffalo police offer. But John is still John, trouble. But he will put up one hell of a fight and won’t be worried at all about any of this.

  2. proreason

    “A disbarred New York lawyer with a criminal record for attempted larceny and patronizing a 16-year-old prostitute”

    The recurring undercurrent of liberalism is narcissism and contempt for societal norms and rules.

    Liberal leaders are what they are because liberals APPROVE of the behaviour. In an Orwellian twist, the only rules they want imposed on anybody are rules imposed on those who see the benefits in rules…..i.e., conservatives.

    Remember, drooling Barney Franks wasn’t aware that his queer paramour was running a male prostitution ring from the drooler’s townhome. Why would he notice? He didn’t see anything going on that he disapproved of.

    But here is what will happen if The Moron’s handlers get their way……………they will impose the rules of the gulag on this country. It has always happened, and always will.




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