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President Withdraws Pardon Issued for NYC Developer

Thursday, December 25, 2008

One day after granting a pardon to Brooklyn developer Isaac Toussie, President Bush revoked it, a step experts say is certainly rare and possibly unprecedented. WNYC's Isaac-Davy Aronson has more.

REPORTER: Toussie, one of 19 people Bush pardoned on Tuesday, pleaded guilty in 2003 to defrauding the federal government and Suffolk County in mortgage and price-inflation schemes. He and his father Robert, among the largest landowners on Long Island, are accused of selling shoddy homes at inflated prices, largely to minorities, in an ongoing class-action lawsuit involving 400 families.

Yesterday, the White House said the President is revoking Toussie's pardon, at least in part because of news reports revealing that his father gave over $28,000 to the Republican National Committee just months before the pardon petition.

The White House counsel recommended the pardon to the President. The White House says Toussie's request will now be reviewed by the Justice Department's pardon attorney. For WNYC, I'm Isaac-Davy Aronson.

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