Archive for Sunday, September 30, 2001

Arkansas strips law license from former governor

Whitewater convictions cited in court’s action

September 30, 2001

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— Former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, who was caught up in the Whitewater investigation, has been stripped of his license to practice law in Arkansas.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza took the action Friday in a lawsuit filed by the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct.

The judge based his decision on Tucker's 1996 convictions in the Whitewater investigation.

Tucker was convicted of felony mail fraud and conspiracy to defraud the government after a trial with co-defendants James and Susan McDougal, the former partners in Whitewater real estate with former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Tucker served a sentence of house arrest because of illness. He recently has been doing business in Indonesia and has a petition before the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his 1996 convictions.

Tucker resigned from the governor's office in 1996.

He pleaded guilty two years later to conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by creating a sham bankruptcy involving his cable television company in order to lower his tax burden.

The amount he owes in restitution has not yet been decided.

Last year, Pulaski County Circuit Judge John Ward ruled that Tucker had violated the professional rules of conduct, but Ward did not decide Tucker's punishment. Piazza acted in place of Ward on Friday.

A hearing in Ward's court for Tucker, who voluntarily and temporarily surrendered his license citing disability, was scheduled for Monday.

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