NEW YORK -- John Catsimatidis, chairman and chief executive officer of the Red Apple Group here, operator of supermarkets under the Sloan's and Gristedes banners, attracted considerable attention from the New York press last week.
her 'Library Pardon."'
Inside, an article said Catsimatidis, widely known as a contributor to Democratic Party causes and candidates, had been part of the lobbying effort that secured a pardon for William Fugazy from President Clinton. Fugazy, a former limousine executive, had pleaded guilty to perjury in a case stemming from a dispute between him and the buyer of his limousine company.
A spokesman for Catsimatidis said the report was correct and that the supermarket executive had been among those who pressed for the pardon. The spokesman pointed out that the group included Bernard Nussbaum, former White House counsel who was now representing Fugazy, and Cardinal John O'Connor.
The spokesman also said the Daily News had correctly quoted Catsimatidis when he told the paper, "In the last 50 years, I don't know of anyone who's gotten a pardon who hadn't paid a lot of money to a lawyer or who hasn't known somebody. How do you create a pardon other than talking to people?"
Two days later, Catsimatidis' presence at a dinner for former Vice President Al Gore was noted in an article in the New York Times. The Times said Catsimatidis had donated $4 million to Gore's presidential campaign last year.
Asked by the paper if Gore would run again for the White House, Catsimatidis said he was certain the former vice president would. "There's no doubt in my mind about it," he said. "If you ask strictly my opinion, on a scale on one to 100, it's 99."