Paula Corbin Jones hired a direct-mail firm last fall to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for her legal battle against President Clinton, according to documents obtained Friday, but none of the money has gone to the foundation sponsoring her sexual-harassment lawsuit or the lawyers pursuing it.
Jones signed a contract in November with Bruce W. Eberle & Associates Inc., which guaranteed her a minimum of $300,000 as long as it could make a profit from the fund-raising campaign. About $100,000 has already been sent directly to Jones, according to one source familiar with the effort.
Solicitation letters and a newspaper advertisement drafted by Eberle’s company, a McLean, Va.-based firm long associated with conservative causes, said the money raised would go to “litigation expenses.” In one letter that went out over her signature, Jones said, “My lawyers can’t keep fighting now without outside funding. And they’ll need at least $250,000 to keep my case going. . . . This money is going to help my legal case and expenses related to it.”
But the Rutherford Institute that is paying for expenses related to the lawsuit and the Dallas law firm that is representing Jones in the case said Friday that they have not gotten any money from the venture.
“The Rutherford Institute has been concerned about the fact that it appears the money’s being raised for litigation expenses when the Rutherford Institute’s paying for all litigation expenses,” institute president John W. Whitehead said.
Brent C. Perry, a Houston lawyer serving as counsel for the Paula Jones Legal Fund, said there was nothing wrong with the fund-raising drive and that it was never intended to pay lawyers. Instead, he said, it is being used generally to pay for other expenses related to the case, such as Jones’ travel to court appearances and “some investigative costs.”