Report: Tripp Didn't Disclose Arrest On Pentagon Job Form
Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky
Theft charges dropped in 1969
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 14) -- Linda Tripp, the former White House aide caught up in the Monica Lewinsky controversy, failed to disclose that she was once arrested on theft charges when filling out paperwork to get a security clearance at the Pentagon, the New Yorker magazine reports in its latest issue.
Attorneys for Tripp confirmed that she was arrested back in 1969 but say the charges were dropped because she was innocent.
"Because Linda was set up and therefore innocent, the charges were dropped, even though she demanded a trial," attorney Anthony Zaccanini told The New York Times. "The judge told her to treat this mistaken event as though it never happened."
But in an interview taped for Sunday's CNN "Late Edition," Defense Secretary William Cohen said the Pentagon plans to investigate. If the allegation proves true, it would be considered "very serious," he said -- more serious than merely failing to disclose information.
"There is an item that's to be checked -- 'Have you ever been either charged or arrested for a crime?' -- an if the answer was 'no,' then that's not simply a matter of fully disclosing, it's a contradiction of the truth," Cohen said.
Tripp, who now works in a public affairs position at the Pentagon, is a former friend of Lewinsky who taped conversations between the two in which Lewinsky alleged that she had an affair with President Bill Clinton and that he asked her to lie about it under oath.
Those events are currently the subject of an investigation by independent counsel Ken Starr.
Charges involved money, watch
According to an arrest report obtained Saturday by The Associated Press from the police department in Greenwood Lake, New York, Tripp, who went by her maiden name of Carotenuto when she was 19, was detained on charges that she stole $263 and a wristwatch valued at $600 from the rooms of two men.
An accompanying statement from the Greenwood Lake police department said it "is not confirming that his person is indeed Linda Tripp."
Tripp's lawyer, James Moody, said Tripp and a group of friends were stopped by police after a night of drinking. Police detained Tripp after finding the money and watch in her purse. But Moody says Tripp told him she was "set up" and the charges were dismissed when she appeared in court for an arraignment.
"Linda was told by the judge she was unconditionally discharged and this would never appear on her record," Moody told the Post.