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The chairman of Morgan Stanley has told clients it was a mistake to invite former President Bill Clinton to speak at a company conference last week, a company executive said Sunday.

Chairman Philip J. Purcell said the decision to invite Clinton did not get the proper review in the investment firm, Judy Hitchen, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's vice president of communications, said in a phone interview.

"We should have been far more sensitive to the strong feelings of our clients over Mr. Clinton's personal behavior as president," Purcell wrote via e-mail. "We should have thought twice before the speaking invitation was extended. Our failure to do so was particularly unfortunate in light of Mr. Clinton's actions in leaving the White House," he added.

Clinton has come under fire for pardoning billionaire fugitive Marc Rich and for accepting thousands of dollars in gifts.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter acknowledged last week it received several calls from customers who were irate that Clinton spoke at its annual High Net Worth conference, held in Boca Raton, Fla.

Man who beat murder rap
convicted in separate case

WAMPSVILLE (AP) -- A man who was acquitted of a murder charge a decade ago has been convicted of second-degree murder in a separate case, and he could be given 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced April 9.

Wellington Johnson Jr., 36, of Rome, was convicted Saturday in the death of Frank Coleman, 30.

The jury decision came 10 days before the one-year anniversary of the day Coleman's body was found in a snowbank off a secluded road near Oneida Lake in Bridgeport.

Johnson and Coleman were friends and co-workers at Brocco Foods in New York Mills on the outskirts of Utica.

Prosecutors alleged that Johnson killed Coleman with a metal bar on Feb. 18, 2000, and dumped the body in a snowbank.

A decade ago, Johnson was acquitted of murder charges in Oneida County Court. He had been charged with setting a Christmas 1989 fire in Utica that killed a woman and two of her grandchildren.

Ex-fugitive returns to U.S.,
pleads guilty in wife's death

WHITE PLAINS (AP) -- A fugitive who was returned to the United States only after foreign aid was withheld from the Dominican Republic has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting his wife.

Carlos Grullon, 37, admitted that he followed his wife, Yolina Camacho, to a hotel where she worked as a maid on Oct. 26, 1991, and shot her three times. Sentencing was set for March 22.

Grullon, who pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder, faces a maximum of 25 years to life.

Grullon was arrested in the Dominican Republic soon after the killing but was released on bail and disappeared. Last year, Rep. Benjamin Gilman, unhappy with efforts to capture Grullon, put a hold on $6 million in aid to the Dominican Republic.

Under pressure, Grullon fled to Venezuela and then Panama, where he was rearrested. Grullon's lawyer said Grullon is remorseful and seeks a lesser sentence.

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