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PHOENIX-After two decades of legal wrangling, former developer and Arizona governor Fife Symington has agreed to repay investors upward of $2 million.

Symington resigned as governor in 1997 as a result of a federal conviction. He was pardoned on former President Bill Clinton’s last day in office, scuttling plans for a retrial. The ex-governor supposedly rescued the former president from drowning when the two were at Harvard.

On Wednesday, Symington got the green light from a bankruptcy judge to repay pension funds involved in the financing of the Mercado shopping complex in downtown Phoenix. Court documents show he must pay pension fund investors $2 million or 40% of a family trust, whichever is greater, that he will inherit upon the death of his octogenarian uncle, Henry Clay Frick II. Symington reportedly is in line to receive millions.

Investors accused Symington of inflating his worth to land a $10-million development loan in the early 1980s to develop the Mercado, which has never been much of a success. The two-story office and retail center is located at the southeast corner of 7th and Van Buren streets. Symington claimed he never intended to deceive investors, but rather that he made mistakes on the financial documents.

As part of the agreement, Symington is to testify in court and turn over any information to investors to aid their case against Wells Fargo Bank, which was also involved in the Mercado’s financing. If he defaults on the agreement, the pension funds can file a $17-million judgment against him.

Symington is now a chef, graduating about two years ago from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. He worked at some of Scottsdale’s finest restaurants before starting the Arizona Culinary Institute in Scottsdale.

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