St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on December 4, 1994 · Page 18
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 18

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 4, 1994
Page 18
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ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH NEWS ANALYSIS 48 DECEMBER 4, 1994 Impeachment Trial For Sheer Novelty, Hearing Should Be An Unbeatable Political Spectacle By Virginia Young Post-Dispatch Jefferson City Bureau JEFFERSON CITY ETH BERKOWITZ, 11. AND his brother, Jacob, 6, get to skip school ( Monday. They'll be watching history in the making. The boys, of University City, will travel to the capital to see the Missouri Supreme Court convene its first impeachment trial. In the spotlight will be their father, lawyer Stuart Berkowitz. He represents Judith K. Moriarty, the suspended secretary of state who is battling to keep her job. Berkowitz, a former Legal Aid lawyer in St. Louis, has a history of "fighting for the underdog," says Rick Teitelman, executive director of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. Moriarty is charged with backdating documents last spring to get her son, Timothy Moriarty, on the ballot in a state House race. A Cole County jury found Moriarty guilty of a misdemeanor elections offense, based on the same incident. Impeachment is a civil proceeding, designed to oust an unfit person from office. Moriarty has lost several rounds but this is the key one. If the Supreme Court convicts her, she loses the $73,450-a-year job state voters gave her two years ago. There is no appeal. Gov. Mel Carnahan would appoint a successor to serve the final two years of her term. Moriarty, 52, a Democrat, probably would return to Sedalia, where she formerly was the county clerk. If Moriarty beats the charge, she resumes her job as the state's chief elections official. Supporters say she would become a folk hero and her political career would be reborn. However, she would not be home free. Attorney General Jay Nixon contends that state law requires Moriarty to forfeit her office if she is sentenced in her criminal case. He plans to file an ouster petition if she is fined and refuses to resign. The impeachment trial is expected to last four to five days. Supreme Court Chief Justice Ann K. Covington declines to predict how quickly the court will render a decision. To oust Moriarty, five of the seven judges must agree. Much will depend on whether they believe Barbara Campbell, the key witness against Moriarty. Campbell, a former aide to Moriarty, says Moriarty told Campbell to file Timothy Moriarty's. candidacy papers on March 29, even though he was not present as required by law. Weeks later, Campbell says, Moriarty told Campbell to sign and backdate Timothy Moriarty's declaration of candidacy. Moriarty contends Timothy Moriarty, 28, tried to file for office on March 21 but that Campbell botched the paperwork. Moriarty's staff lawyer, Randy Sparks, deemed the problem a clerical error, so Campbell took responsibility and corrected it, Moriarty contends. Both Berkowitz and his courtroom adversary, attorney Mark A. Richardson of Jefferson City, are newcomers to the long-running drama. Both have reputations as skilled trial attorneys. Richardson, 35, will prosecute the case for the House, which brought the impeachment charges. He worked as a Cole County assis- Chaos From page one courage is now." A Crisis of Will "We know where the crises are going to be," said Julia B. Taft, a former State Department official who now serves as president of InterAction, the American Council for Voluntary International Action. "The problem is there is never enough human and political will to do anything about them." In Bosnia, for example, the United Nations is excoriated for failing to defend more aggressively the so-called safe areas. The criticism skirts over the fact that the U.N. Protective Force had estimated that 34,000 troops would be needed to secure the designated areas; it never got more than 7,000. "Everyone knew from the beginning that this was purely symbolic," said James A. Schear, associate at the Carnegie Endowment and adviser to the U.N.'s special representative to the former Yugoslavia. The lesson, Schear said, is that "in international conflict management as in life, you get what you pay for." Former Defense Secretary Les Aspin, who now chairs the president's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, talked about the issue of using military power to protect American values, as opposed to using that power to defend against direct threats to U.S. security or interests. The dilemma rarely presented itself during the decades of the Cold War, Aspin suggested, for two reasons: An ideologically divided world, as represented in the United Nations, usually opposed U.S. intervention. Meanwhile, the Pentagon argued persuasively that we had to keep our military reserves focused on "the main show," the threat posed by the former Soviet Union. Now the Soviet Union is gone and the world is all too willing, in many places, to let the U.S. take the lead. Pentagon types remain opposed to most proposals for "values" intervention, and for good reason, Aspin said. They're uncomfortable asking soldiers to be policemen, the r: y - f . .v.... - - I .. ' i - AP Missouri Secretary of State Judith K. Moriarty must go before the Missouri Supreme Court this week to fight for her job. She was suspended from office in October after the state House of Representatives impeached her. tant prosecutor for five years, trying felony and misdemeanor jury cases. One memorable victory: the conviction of a Capitol lunchroom cook who assaulted a woman in a Capitol restroom. The man, who poked his fingers in the woman's eyes, got the maximum: 15 years in prison. "Mark is a good attorney when it comes to framing cases with a lot of detail," says Lou Tedeschi, acting chief of the Capitol police. Richardson's down-home style establishes good rapport with juries. "He's a genuine guy the kind you want running your Boy Scout troop," Tedeschi says. Cole County Prosecutor Rich Callahan and Rep. Gary Witt, chairman of the House impeachment committee, praise Richardson's legal abilities. A Republican, Richardson is a native of Kennett, Mo., in the Bootheel. He graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia School of Law in 1984. He should not be confused with Rep. Mark L. Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, who served on World Hot Spots Countries on U.N. checklist wmmM S 1. Deteriorating food production S 2. High unemploymentdeclining wages 3. Human rights violations S 4. Incidents of ethnic violence S 5. Over-emphasis on military spending S 6. Widening disparities of income within internal regions Source: United Nations Development cross-training required is costly, and they know that "values" missions are uniquely vulnerable to mercurial public support. The same people who demanded we "do something" about Somalia's starvation in 1992 were just as adamant, after Army Rangers were killed 10 months later, that we get out. It's easy to blame the media for stirring up the public, or the public for going along. But Aspin suggested that the apparent influence of the so-called "CNN factor" really speaks to government's inability, at least so far, to spell out precisely the circumstances that would compel a defense of American values. Of Moriarty Begins the House impeachment committee. The two are not related. Berkowitz, 46, is an expert in civil rights and constitutional law cases. A New York native, he graduated from Washington University Law School in 1973. He has had a private practice in St. Louis for 14 years. Before that, he worked for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, which handles civil cases for people who cannot afford lawyers. Berkowitz's accomplishments include a landmark case that forced the forensic unit at Fulton State Hospital to upgrade its medical care and supervision. Teitelman, the Legal Aid chief, says, "Stuart fought hard and the result was substantially improved conditions" at the housing unit for the criminally insane. Berkowitz is a longtime ally of St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. Berkowitz interviewed Bosley when he got his first job out of law school at Legal Services. Later, when Bosley was St. Louis circuit clerk, Berkowitz Program. The Media's Role When U.S. troops landed in Somalia, in December 1992, American reporters were there in force. Among them was Ted Koppel, managing editor of ABC's Nightline, who has wandered, crew in hand, from South Africa to Moscow and Beijing in recent years. "Nightline went to cover Somalia and I was there," Koppel said, "and that meant bringing along our huge electronic tail. Now what are the chances of 'Nightline' doing a story while we're in Somalia on Rwanda, or Latin America, or anyplace else? Slim or none." ssa YtlJu h mmmi i L- June 14: Deputy Secretary of State Charles Campbell resigns and complains of mismanagement and political cronyism in Moriarty's office. June 21: Moriarty aide Barbara Campbell, Charles Campbell's wife, alleges that Moriarty improperly filed her son, Timothy Moriarty, as a candidate for the state House. June 22: Attorney General Jay Nixon says Timothy Moriarty should be taken off the ballot. Timothy Moriarty drops his-campaign. June 24: Judith Moriarty appoints a management review team. July 1: Cole County grand jury returns misdemeanor indictment, alleging Moriarty broke election laws to benefit her son. July 5: Moriarty pleads innocent. Aug. 16: Securities investigator Kyle Ebers, the son of Moriarty's boyfriend, admits he used his state computer to prepare an illegal chain letter. He later quits. Sept. 10: A Cole County jury finds Moriarty guilty of certifying her son's can Other Missouri Officiate Facing High Court Resigned Before Their Cases Got This Far JUDITHK. MORIARTY is the eighth person to be impeached in Missouri's 173-year history. None was tried before the Supreme Court. Until 1945, Missouri's constitution gave the Senate the duty of conducting impeachment trials. Since then, impeachment targets have resigned before their trials began. Missouri is one of only four states that has impeachment trials in a court rather than in the Senate. Montana, New York and Nebraska are the others. The only state without an impeachment procedure is Oregon. Missouri Impeachment Cases 1825: Jackson County Circuit Judge Richard S. Thomas, for misconduct in office, convicted by Senate. 1859 : Stoddard County Circuit Judge Al served as the clerk's outside counsel and troubleshooter on personnel matters. Bosley says Berkowitz has "a keen mind." Moriarty's political consultant, Brenda Kinnaman of St. Louis, recruited Berkowitz for Moriarty's team. "I have found him to have a deep understanding of both the law and politics," Kinnaman says. "Judi needed someone that was not going to grandstand" but would research the issues thoroughly. Besides weighing evidence, the court must tackle thorny procedural questions, such as what standard of proof to use. Richardson contends he must prove his case by a preponderance of the evidence, a burden of proof used in civil cases. Berkowitz says the tougher criminal standard beyond a reasonable doubt should apply because the consequences of conviction are so grave. In his brief, Berkowitz argues that the case against Moriarty, "even if true as charged, does not constitute the level of misconduct contemplated" for impeachment under the state constitution. Richardson counters that misconduct is whatever the House says it is and the definition is not subject to court of looming collapse r? Post-Dispatch Map When jfou think of such media-driven events as the 1989 demonstrations in Beijing's Tiananmen Square or the body of a dead U.S. serviceman dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, "the operative question is not whether such scenes have consequences," Koppel said. "They do. The question is whether the consequences are intended and if so, by whom?" The biggest change, he said, is the "growing accessibility of the media itself. News is being generated by more people, in a more chaotic manner, than ever before." "Our coverage tends to be intense but relatively short-lived," Koppel said. "We in 4 I- Monday didacy after the filing deadline. Gov. Mel Carnahan calls on Moriarty to resign. She refuses. Sept. 14: Carnahan calls special legislative session to consider Moriarty's impeachment. Sept. 19: Review team urges wholesale changes in Moriarty's office procedures and policies. Sept. 20: Moriarty fires her chief deputy, James "Jim Bob" Kolb. Oct. 6: House impeaches Moriarty. ' Oct. 7: Interim Secretary of State Dick Hanson is sworn in; Moriarty refuses to leave office. Oct. 11: Supreme Court suspends Moriarty with pay pending her impeachment trial. Nov. 3: Cole County Circuit Judge James McHenry hears Moriarty's arguments for a new criminal trial but issues no decision. Dec. 5: Moriarty's impeachment trial to begin in Supreme Court. bert Jackson, for oppression in office, acquitted by Senate. 1867: Platte County Circuit Judge Walter King, for refusing to submit to loyalty oath to the federal government, convicted by Senate. 1872: Platte County Circuit Judge Philander Lucas, for granting daily mileage expenses to jurors, charges withdrawn. 1931: State Treasurer Larry Brunk, for misconduct in office, acquitted by Senate. 1963: St. Louis County Circuit Judge Virgil Poelker, for misappropriating money under his control and failing to file a state income tax return, resigned before Supreme Court trial. 1968: St. Louis County Circuit Judge John D. Hasler, for misconduct in office, resigned before Supreme Court trial. 1994: Secretary of State Judith K. Moriarty, for backdating documents for her son's House candidacy; trial set to begin Monday. review. As an appellate court, the Supreme Court usually does not hold trials of any sort. The last one, in 1972, revolved around whether Christopher S. Bond, now a U.S. senator, met residency requirements to be on the state's ballot for governor. With seven judges instead of one, a trial can get tricky. The plan is for Covington to handle any objections that crop up unless they're controversial. Then all seven judges will confer. Usually, the judges pepper opposing lawyers in appeals with legal questions. But Covington doesn't expect that she and her colleagues will quiz witnesses. "This is for the lawyers to try," she says. "I think we'd defer to counsel on the examination of witnesses unless there was something that was not clear." Given the sheer novelty of the proceeding, the 72-seat courtroom could be packed. At least 20 seats are reserved 14 for judges' law clerks and six for the media. Most media representatives will monitor the trial via a closed-circuit television hookup in a nearby courtroom. the media tend to be willows in the wind; we focus not so much on the national interest as on what appears, at any given moment, to interest the nation." Private Sector, Public Pressure Government officials at the conference said U.S. policy has not always been reactive or short-term. They said the record includes real, if unheralded, successes. Phyllis E. Oakley, Assistant Secretary of State for population, refugees and migration, cited successful interventions the past two years to avert potential famines in southern Africa and Ethiopia. Other examples: South Africa's miraculously peaceful transition to democracy and the apparent success, so far, of conflict-resolution initiatives in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia. Oakley said one reason for those successes was the permanent presence of trained personnel from religious and other volunteer groups the non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, that have become the backbone for both emergency relief and development programs. The budget of CARE USA is now $346 million, for example, with $280 million of that from government sources, Oakley said. The NGOs have exploded both in number and size over the past decade, matching the explosion in human disasters. But with that growth has come confusion over the division of roles and all but inevitable duplication and bureaucracy. Andrew Natsios, vice president of World Vision, recalled that on a visit last month to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees at the camp for Rwan-dans in Goma, Zaire, he counted mailboxes for 76 separate NGOs. "It's an extremely complex system" for the delivery of aid, Natsios said. "It makes medieval Europe look centralized by comparison." Potential and actual conflicts pose different types of challenges and demand different responses, Natsios said; they shouldn't be mixed. And no matter what the NGOs attempt, he said, they "cannot substitute for the lack of U.S. leadership. It's silly. It can't work." "Unless the great powers have the moral imperative to intervene," he warned, "we will fail." v

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