Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's key Whitewater witness, David Hale, told investigators recently that he did not receive cash payments from conservative activists.

Hale said Thursday he told the investigators looking into allegations about the payments that he visited periodically with Parker Dozhier of Hot Springs, Ark., between 1994 and 1996 while waiting to give testimony implicating President Clinton in wrongdoing. Hale said he never received any money.The conservative American Spectator magazine paid Dozhier as part of a $1.7 million project to unearth information about Clinton or the Whitewater land deal.

Caryn Mann, a former girlfriend of Dozhier, said Hale received free lodging, use of a car and food, and payments of $40 to $500 at a time.