Gov. Jim Guy Tucker denied criminal involvement in the Whitewater affair and suggested that the special prosecutor was either deliberately leaking information for political purposes or was "recklessly loose" in his procedures.
Tucker, a Democrat, summoned reporters to the Arkansas governor's mansion late Thanksgiving afternoon to denounce a report in Thursday's Los Angeles Times that quoted unidentified sources as saying Whitewater special prosecutor Kenneth Starr is expected to seek an indictment against Tucker.
"I have done nothing that would justify an indictment," Tucker said.
"I have had absolutely no indication from the special prosecutor that an indictment is under consideration. I have not received any notice that I am a target of an investigation, nor have I been interviewed by the special prosecutor or asked to testify before the grand jury."
Before becoming governor, Tucker was a businessman who financed some of his enterprises with loans from Madison Guarantee Savings & Loan, controlled by James B. McDougal, a partner with President Clinton in the failed Whitewater resort.
Other Tucker loans came from an investment company owned by David Hale, who has accused Tucker and President Clinton of pressuring him to make fraudulent loans.
Tucker, visibly angry, said leaks from Starr's office and other government agencies were "illegal," but "near routine."
He suggested the leaks were "deliberate and are done for political purposes" or "the result of recklessly loose procedures" in Starr's office.
Tucker said the effect was "tainting or influencing the grand jury members or future jury members."