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New Economy, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Management, Global Business

Norman Hsu: Travelling Man

Posted by iBlog on September 12, 2007

Hsu, 56 years old, has contributed or raised more than $1.2 million for Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, and is one of the party’s leading fund-raisers. But he became such a source of embarrassment for the Clinton campaign after press reports on his questionable campaign giving, and that he was a fugitive wanted in an early 1990s investment- fraud case, that the Clinton campaign said it was returning $850,000 from 260 donors associated with him.

Hsu called the matter a misunderstanding, then failed to show up at a court hearing in Redwood City, Calif., on the case Wednesday. Instead, he booked passage on an Amtrak train headed to Chicago.

That night, passengers on in the sleeper compartment across the aisle from his noticed a hat, a book and other items spilling into the hallway from under the door. The next morning, the drapes were still drawn. Returning from breakfast, one passenger peeked through the curtains and saw a person wedged against the door. The passenger, Joanne Segale, a retired school-bus driver from Sonora, Calif., knocked on the window but got no answer. Segale said she saw a man who appeared to be in fetal position, bare-chested. “It appeared this person had fallen out of bed,” she said.

Eventually, three conductors used the crowbar to pry the door open.

Segale said that Hsu “could not stand. He was acting like he didn’t understand them. They tried to get him up but he couldn’t walk.” At one point, Hsu asked the Amtrak attendants if he was in jail, according to Segale.

When Hsu was helped to the bathroom, Segale says she saw “lots and lots of medication in that room. I could see pills on the floor and rolling around.”

Amtrak conductors called paramedics, who met the train in Grand Junction, Colo. When Hsu was checked into a local hospital, law-enforcement officials were notified that Hsu had been found.

Hsu’s public-relations advisers declined Monday to comment on Segale’s account. Previously, his representatives called accounts of his actions on the train “mostly hearsay” and “sensational.”

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