Mean Mrs. Jones

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WASHINGTON: Another deal offered, another deal rejected – and Paula Jones’ lawyers are ready to walk. The White House turned down a $950,000 settlement in their sexual harassment suit Thursday. After the election, Clinton attorney Bob Bennett is in no hurry to settle. And both sides of the Jones legal team -- Rader, Fisher, Campbell and Pyke in Dallas, and the Rutherford institute in Virginia -- let it be known that they would not be hanging around beyond her current appeal. The final straw, it seems, was the deal Jones made Saturday with New York parking lot tycoon Abe Hirschfeld, who offered to place $1 million in an escrow account pending a settlement between Jones and the White House. Jones agreed, at the suggestion of her spokeswoman, Susan Carpenter-McMillan -- and against the advice of her lawyers.

Special It’s not as if Paula hasn’t fallen out of love with lawyers before. In fact, the presidential litigant still owes a whopping $800,000 to Joseph Cammarata and Gilbert Davis, her former legal eagles who walked out in disgust after Jones balked at a $700,000 settlement with the President. Carpenter-McMillan, who also chairs the Paula Jones Legal Defense Fund, said Jones was "extremely upset" at her attorneys. However, it was Carpenter-McMillan’s own intransigence that caused Jones's break with the previous lawyers; she’s also frequently butted heads with the Rutherford Institute over who gets first grab at the Defense Fund cash. Now the spokeswoman is holding out for a million from Hirschfeld plus a million from Clinton, which the attorneys believe is utterly unrealistic. If they carry out their threat, Paula will be left with another hefty tab -- this time, for $1.5 million. Is there a bankruptcy lawyer in the house?