Legal Ethics

Desire to Help Hurts Ex-Prosecutor

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A Washington, D.C., ethics committee is considering whether to recommend sanctions for a former federal prosecutor accused of giving improper vouchers to witnesses.

G. Paul Howes is accused of giving 132 witnesses more than $140,000 in vouchers in two cases, Legal Times reports. Among those who got the vouchers were jailed witnesses, friends and families of witnesses, and former cops, according to bar prosecutors.

The D.C. Bar Counsel is recommending that Howes receive a two-year suspension for the misconduct.

Howes testified he approved the vouchers because he wanted to help people. Poor training and a heavy caseload also influenced his actions, he said.

Howes is now a partner with class-action firm Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins based in San Diego. A biography on the firm’s Web site says Howes is a Marine Corps veteran who previously worked as an ABC News correspondent, a special assistant to the FBI director, and tympanist for the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.

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