This action is a bar disciplinary proceeding instituted by State of Oklahoma, ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association, against David Hall, formerly the governor of this state, pursuant to Article X, Sections 4(b), 4(c) and 4(d) of the Rules Creating and Controlling the Oklahoma Bar Association, 5 O.S. 1971, Ch. 1, App. 1, as they read prior to February 17, 1977, amendment not applicable here.
Respondent was charged in Federal District Court, Western District of Oklahoma, with violating the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951, and the Travel Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1952, by committing the crimes of extortion, conspiracy and bribery. Respondent pleaded not guilty to those charges and was thereafter tried and found guilty.
The present proceeding was instituted pursuant to Art. X §§ 4(b), 4(c) and 4(d) of the Rules which in pertinent part (prior to above-described amendment) provided as follows:
General Counsel, pursuant to Art. X, § 4(c), supra, directed respondent to appear before this Court and show cause why he should not be disciplined.
Respondent suspended himself from the practice of law and filed a response in which he denied commission of any crime or other conduct justifying disciplinary action.
The federal charges against respondent came about as follows. Early in 1975, a grand jury of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma returned indictments against respondent Hall and two codefendants, W.W. Taylor and R. Kevin Mooney. The indictment against respondent Hall, in four counts, as later reduced by the trial court, charged him with extortion, conspiracy and bribery during the course of which the facilities of interstate commerce were used, in violation of 18 U.S.C., Sections 1951 and 1952. The crimes were allegedly committed in the course of a scheme to persuade the Board of Trustees of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System to invest ten million dollars in Guaranteed Investors Corporation, for which respondent was to receive a "finders fee" of $50,000.
A trial based upon that indictment started on February 24, 1975, and Mooney, who had pleaded guilty to one of the charges against him, testified as a witness for the prosecution. On March 14, 1975, the jury returned verdicts of guilty on all four counts against respondent Hall. On April 25, 1975, he was sentenced to three years in prison on each count, with the sentences to run concurrently. Shortly thereafter, this proceeding was instituted by the Oklahoma Bar Association, and respondent Hall appealed his conviction to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. On May 12, 1976, that court affirmed the conviction in a lengthy opinion appearing at 536 F.2d 313. Respondent Hall then sought certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. Certiorari has recently been denied.
No useful purpose would be served by attempting to summarize all of the evidence before us, including the 2400 page transcript of the federal trial which respondent filed in this proceeding. The following paragraphs from the opinion of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, United States v. Hall, 536 F.2d 313, are sufficient to set out the basis of the verdict:
It appears that the allegations of error made by respondent Hall in his appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals were (1) that the indictment was insufficient; (2) that the court erred in dealing with a juror who became ill after the cause was submitted; (3) that prejudice requiring reversal resulted from pretrial publicity; (4) that the court erred in refusing to give an instruction requested by defendants; (5) that the voir dire of prospective jurors was insufficient; (6) that certain tape recordings should not have been received in evidence; and (7) misconduct of the district attorney. It may be noted that in the federal appeal there was no direct allegation that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict. Yet here we are asked to review that evidence and hold it insufficient.
In his brief in this court, respondent Hall argues generally under several propositions that this court should review the evidence and determine for itself whether it was sufficient to support the verdict; that conviction of a felony does not necessarily
After a careful consideration of the entire record before us, we hold that the transcript of the evidence in the criminal case in the federal court shows that the jury verdict was supported by the evidence. The crimes of which respondent Hall was convicted involve moral turpitude.
Art. IX § 10 of the described Rules provides that discipline by this Court shall be disbarment, suspension from practice, reprimand, etc. The primary purpose of discipline is not punishment but purification of the Bar and protection of the courts and the public generally. In re: Green, 173 Okl. 460, 49 P.2d 197; State ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association v. Booth, Okl., 441 P.2d 405. However, this is not the sole purpose. Discipline also serves to deter a respondent from committing similar acts in the future and acts as a restraining influence upon others. State ex rel. Okl. Bar Association v. Scanland, Okl., 475 P.2d 373.
Respondent has filed with us an exhibit containing the affidavits of some four dozen persons, some of whom say they have known him long and favorably, in effect urging consideration of respondent's previous good reputation and his ability and standing in determining the character of discipline properly to be assessed. State ex rel. Okl. Bar Ass'n v. Gresham, 556 P.2d 264 (Okl. 1976). Consideration has been given this evidence. Nevertheless, in view of the gravity of the acts of which the respondent was convicted, we decline to assess a sanction of suspension only.
Respondent is determined to have exercised the authority of his then-held high office to extort a bribe from a "victim" with the inducement of securing through his influence "under color of official right" the investment by the Oklahoma Employees Retirement System of $10,000,000 in the victim's corporation's obligations. United States v. Hall, 536 F.2d 313.
In State ex rel. Okl. Bar Ass'n v. Scanland, Okl., 475 P.2d 373, we characterized a District Attorney, or assistant, as a minister of justice second only to judges. The constitutional office of Chief Executive is no less an important part of our Executive Branch. As was said in Scanland, quoting from In re: Stolen, 193 Wis. 602, 214 N.W. 379, 216 N.W. 127, 55 A.L.R. 1355,
It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed that the respondent be, and he is hereby disbarred from the practice of law in this state, and his name is ordered stricken from the roll of attorneys.
HODGES, C.J., LAVENDER, V.C.J., and DAVISON, IRWIN and BERRY, JJ., concur.
MALEY, ROMANG and BROCK, Special Justices, concur.
Justices BARNES, SIMMS, and DOOLIN, having certified their disqualification in this case, the Honorable JOHN D. MALEY, the Honorable RICHARD E. ROMANG, and the Honorable JACK L. BROCK were appointed Special Justices in their stead, respectively.