A former car dealer in prison for selling cars to drug dealers is asking President Clinton to commute her 151/2-year sentence before he leaves office.
Antoinette Frink, former president of McFrink Chevrolet-Cadillac Inc. in Delaware, Ohio, has been incarcerated at the women's prison in Lexington, Ky., for 11 years.
Frink, 49, denies all charges of wrongdoing. She was sentenced under guidelines that prohibit parole but deduct time for good behavior. She is scheduled to be released in 2003.
Ross Nabatoff, a partner at Brand & Frulla in Washington, submitted a clemency petition to the pardon attorney for the United States Department of Justice on Frink's behalf in early December.
Nabatoff said he has not heard anything from Clinton or the Justice Department but said the president has until Jan. 20 - the day he leaves office - to act.
Nabatoff said he is working on Frink's case without compensation because he believes in her innocence.
'She has served an extraordinary amount of time whether you think she's innocent or not,' Nabatoff said.
Frink, a former special education teacher with a master's degree in school psychology, became a car dealer in August 1986 after completing General Motors' dealer training program. Frink's troubles started the next year when she sold and/or retitled about 12 vehicles for people who turned out to be drug dealers. The federal government contends that she knew that the vehicles would be used to transport cocaine.
She was indicted in December 1988 and convicted in May 1989 of:
Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.
Aiding and abetting in the distribution of cocaine.
Use of interstate travel to aid in the distribution of cocaine.
During her time in prison, Frink was a hospice volunteer, a member of the suicide watch and has taught inmates to read.
She was instrumental in getting the American Red Cross to certify inmates at the prison as HIV/AIDS instructors. As an instructor, she has trained or assisted in the training of more than 30 women and organized a walk-a-thon that raised more than $1,000 for AIDS Volunteers of Lexington.