Report: Arkansas Mulls Disbarring Former Govs. Tucker, Clinton

July 7, 2008 - 7:25 PM

(CNSNews.com) - The Arkansas Supreme Court's Committee on Professional Conduct has filed a complaint asking the court to disbar former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker, and the Washington Times reports the panel is also considering a similar move against President Clinton, who was found in civil contempt for lying under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

The newspaper says the disbarment complaint filed against Tucker - Clinton's Democratic successor as Arkansas governor -- charges that he violated rules of professional conduct by engaging in "dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation."

In May 1996, a federal jury convicted Tucker on felony counts of fraud and conspiracy in connection with the Whitewater land deal.

James Neal, the executive director of the Arkansas Supreme Court's Committee on Professional Conduct, refused to discuss the Clinton case, telling the Washington Times he's not permitted to do so under confidentiality rules "until such time as the committee has taken some action that becomes public."

But the newspaper says published reports indicate the Committee on Professional Conduct has received several complaints against Mr. Clinton, and the Committee is certainly examining the contempt findings that federal judge Susan Webber Wright directed at Mr. Clinton last April.

Neal told the newspaper, "Our rules provide that any writing of a judge is a formal complaint, which means it will be adjudicated by the Committee to see if [ethical] violations occurred or if sanctions are in order."

Unlike Tucker, Clinton has not been convicted of any offense, and that may make Clinton's case different from Tucker's, some observers say.

Aside from disbarment, other options for lawyers charged with violating the rules of professinal conduct include a confidential warning to the lawyer; issuing a more serious public "reprimand;" and suspending a lawyer's license for up to two years.