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The showdown begins May 7. Former federal prosecutor G. Paul Howes has admitted he violated six ethics rules in a wide-ranging witness payment scandal nearly 13 years ago. But Monday, the ethics hearing that will help decide whether he keeps his D.C. law license gets under way. The hearing panel — made up of H. Bradford Glassman of Baach Robinson & Lewis, James Phalen of King & Spalding, and nonlawyer John Barker — will hear testimony and consider evidence in a proceeding expected to last five days. Howes, who served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the District during the 1990s, concedes to violations ranging from dishonesty to interfering with justice while prosecuting gang cases. Yet he denies D.C. Bar Counsel allegations that his conduct was criminal or that he offered unlawful inducements to witnesses. Both a Bar Counsel investigation and a Justice Department probe found Howes disbursed more than $140,000 in federal witness vouchers to 132 people during the Newton Street gang trial and another murder trial — including improper payments to some witnesses, friends and relatives of witnesses, and former police officers. In March, Howes, now a partner at the San Diego office of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, told a court in Texas that because of the ethics charges he would have a nonspeaking role in a $40 billion shareholders trial against Enron.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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