Monday, November 24, 2008
A hearing committee in the District of Columbia has recommended a 90 day suspension of former White House domestic policy advisor Claude Allen. The hearing committee accepted a stipulation of facts and concluded that the conviction did not involve a crime of moral turpitude, which would require disbarment under D.C. Code section 11-2503:
Here, the Hearing Committee finds that Bar Counsel has not provided any evidence that Respondent’s actions were of a vile or depraved nature justifying a finding of moral turpitude based on the facts. Simply committing a fraudulent act that is a misdemeanor does not rise to moral turpitude by itself. Furthermore, while the Hearing Committee agrees with Bar Counsel that Respondent’s actions were not designed to benefit...we cannot agree that the actions could be pecuniary in nature. Respondent did not profit from his crime. The stolen items had a nominal value and the evidence shows that Respondent did not need the items for personal use. Therefore, Respondent’s actions, while dishonest, fraudulent and immoral, do not cross over into the realm of moral turpitude.
The accused had engaged in a scheme to fraudulently return items to Target and was convicted of theft of property valued at less than $500. (Mike Frisch)