Ex-Prosecutor May Face Disbarment – Few Prosecutors Ever Sanctioned for Unethical Conduct by State Bar Associations.

Recent changes by the U.S. Justice Department have ordered that Federal Prosecutors are now subject to state ethical regulation.

Bar regulators asked the District of Columbia’s highest court March 8, to strip G. Paul Howes, a former federal prosecutor, of his law license for “illegal and unethical” conduct in the mid 1990′s.

The charges refer to alleged misuse of thousands of dollars of witness vouchers in high profile homicide cases.   Howes was charged with improperly authorizing payments to informant’s friends and relatives to assist in obtaining testimony. 

The district’s deputy bar counsel urged judges to deal sternly with him over conduct that did “tremendous harm to the criminal justice system.”

There was a fifteen year delay from the date of the charges until the investigation of him began.

A study by USA Today  found that prosecutors face little risk of being punished for unethical conduct.  Only six federal prosecutors faced any type of discipline from the state offices that oversee legal ethics and none was disbarred since 1997.

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