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Bar Won’t Charge Speaker

July 27, 1989

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The State Bar says it won’t charge Assembly Speaker Willie Brown with violating disciplinary rules for lawyers by contacting a judge about traffic tickets issued to a legislator’s daughter.

The bar said in a statement Wednesday that it had closed its investigation on possible ethical misconduct by Brown, a Democrat from San Francisco.

″The State Bar concluded that there was an absence of compelling evidence on which to base a finding that Brown had violated the provisions of the State Bar Act or the Rules of Professional Conduct,″ the bar said.

The investigation concerned reports that Brown had asked for leniency when he called Ventura County Municipal Court Judge Herbert Curtis about the case of Victoria Wright, daughter of Assemblywoman Cathie Wright.

Victoria Wright ultimately was sentenced to 20 days in jail for traffic violations.

Ventura County District Attorney Michael Bradbury decided not to charge Brown or the assemblywoman, but sent a 75-page report on the case to the bar and expressed disappointment at its reaction.

″I guess they didn’t want to bite the hand that feeds them,″ Bradbury said.

Brown’s press secretary, Susan Jetton, said Brown ″said from the beginning that he did not do anything wrong.″

Brown has been a California lawyer since 1959 and maintains an active practice.

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