Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Long Reach Of Hurricane Katrina

The District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility recently recommended a one-year suspension of a former senior domestic policy adviser to former President George W. Bush for criminal conduct unrelated to the practice of law. The attorney had been convicted of misdemeanor theft offenses from Target. He bought two items from a store and used the receipt to attempt to get a refund after taking the identical items off the shelf.

The board concluded that the crimes did not involve moral turpitude, which would have required disbarment. The board also noted that two jurisdictions had imposed 90 day suspension for the misconduct. Notably, the attorney had claimed (and the board agreed) that the stress related to his involvement in the response to Hurricane Katrina had played a role in the violations.

The case is In re Claude Allen and can be accessed through this link. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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For more information (but not the valuable link to the report that you provide), see the March 10 Blog of the Legal Times "Discipline Board Recommends One-Year Suspension for Former White House Aide." Both reports however, omit one key fact.

Even more remarkable in this context than Claude Allen's theft by fraud while he served in President George W. Bush's White House, is Bush's previous nomination of Allen to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

To understand how Claude Allen was part of a pattern of failed Bush judicial nominees with severe, objective problems, see the Feb. 29, 2008 ACSBlog, "Guest Blogger Glenn Sugameli: Bush Judicial Nominees- Torture, Alice in Wonderland, Shoplifting, Ethics and more" or my website.

-Glenn Sugameli
Staff Attorney
Judging the Environment

Posted by: Glenn Sugameli | Mar 11, 2010 9:58:22 AM

I'm SO glad that people are not forgetting Mr. Allen's behavior, only 2 years after the known events. I seem to recall that his theft extended to 2 other companies, walmart and macys? Did these companies decline to prosecute and, if so... why? remember, at that time bush was still in power, so i wonder if any under-the-table events occurred here?

Strangely enough, reading through the bar report, the fact that he was a high-level bush official AND nominated to a federal judgeship should have exacerbated, not diminished the 'moral turpitude' argument.

again, i feel that Mr. Claude Allen has dodged another bullet and can safely continue his economically privileged lifestyle. 'Emotionally connected' with Katrina victims... RIGHT..

- Janet

Posted by: Janet | Mar 30, 2010 9:01:34 AM

I am an old friend of Claudes and lived with him in a discipleship house for a year back in 1995. I was much younger than Claude and did not know anybody in the DC area, he took me and a couple other younger men under his wing and showed us nothing but virtuous character traits such as kindnes and selflessnes. The man who shop lifted is not the man I knew, something very traumatic must have happened to Claude to cause him to act in this uncharateristic way.


Posted by: Russ Jellesed | Apr 22, 2010 1:54:32 PM

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