Susan McDougal Transferred To Little Rock
She hopes health problems could speed her release
By Terry Frieden/CNN
WASHINGTON (June 10) -- Federal marshals have transferred convicted Whitewater figure Susan McDougal from California back to Little Rock, Ark., where she awaits a hearing next week which she hopes could lead to her release from custody.
U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr., who presided over McDougal's
Whitewater trial, rejected most of her attorney's arguments for release from custody, but did agree to consider her request to be released for health reasons.
McDougal's close associates say she suffers from a degenerative back
problem which has increasingly required her to wear back and neck braces. McDougal's problem was discovered last year at the same time other medical tests showed she was not suffering from breast cancer as she had feared.
"We're keeping our fingers crossed," McDougal's fiance Pat Harris told CNN Tuesday. Harris and McDougal attorney Mark Geragos will travel from Los Angeles to Little Rock for the Thursday afternoon hearing in Howard's Little Rock courtroom.
McDougal is serving her three-year Whitewater conviction on fraud charges after having served 18 months on civil contempt for refusing to testify before Independent Counsel Ken Starr's Little Rock grand jury.
Her trial on criminal contempt charges stemming from indictments requested by Starr, originally set for June 22, was postponed last Friday until late September.
McDougal, however, faces yet another trial next month. She is scheduled to go on trial in a California state court July 13 on charges she embezzled $50,000 from conductor Zubin Mehta and his wife when she worked as an assistant to the couple.