Saturday, May 13, 2006

Lewinsky Case's Prosecutor Accused Of Stalking Woman
Lewinsky Case's Prosecutor Accused Of Stalking Woman
By Michael Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer

NEW YORK, May 12 -- Robert W. Ray, the former independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica S. Lewinsky, turned himself in to police Thursday on charges of stalking a former girlfriend, according to the Manhattan district attorney's office.

New York police say Ray's former girlfriend, a 40-year-old Manhattan woman, filed a complaint that he persisted in sending e-mail and knocking on her door months after she broke off their relationship. Police charged Ray, 46, with a misdemeanor count of stalking in the fourth degree.

Ray works in the Parsippany, N.J., law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, where he specializes in white-collar criminal defense. A telephone call to his office was not returned.

Ray entered the 2002 race for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey, seeking the seat held by Robert G. Torricelli (D), who was plagued by charges of unethical conduct. But Ray came under sustained criticism in Congress for considering a partisan race while still serving as independent counsel. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) called for the U.S. comptroller general to investigate Ray's conduct in lining up political consultants and discussing fundraising while he was independent counsel.

Ray later dropped out of the race, saying there was not enough time to raise money and mount a serious challenge.

Once a hard-driving federal prosecutor in New York, Ray came into the public spotlight during his years of work for independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr. He investigated Clinton's affair with White House intern Lewinsky and the Whitewater land deal in Arkansas. Ray took over for Starr in October 1999.

Ray sat with Clinton in the Map Room of the White House on Dec. 27, 2000, and cut the beginnings of the deal that allowed the soon-to-be-former president to avoid indictment on perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges.

"To cut to the chase, it was important to go directly in," Ray told The Washington Post later. "That was all that was necessary -- one time to communicate directly with the president."

Ray released a report in March 2002 that was highly critical of Clinton's conduct. In the report, Ray said Clinton easily could have been indicted and convicted.

Ray was released Thursday and is due in court June 12, according to the district attorney's office.