McDougal Seeks Delay In California Trial
LOS ANGELES (July 10) -- Susan McDougal's attorney has filed for a continuance of her embezzlement trial in California.
McDougal, a key figure in the Whitewater investigation by Independent
Counsel Kenneth Starr, is charged in California with seven counts of theft and
three counts of tax evasion. McDougal has been jailed for civil contempt for
refusing to answer questions before a Whitewater grand jury in Little Rock,
Ark., but was released in June for medical reasons.
McDougal's attorney Mark Geragos said McDougal will not be in court
for the hearing Monday in Santa Monica because of her back problems.
The California trial is scheduled to start Monday, with charges that McDougal
forged checks and charged hotel rooms, plane tickets and shopping sprees while
working as a bookkeeper and personal assistant to symphony conductor Zubin
Mehta and his wife Nancy between 1989 and 1992. McDougal is accused of stealing
approximately $150,000 from the Mehtas.
Geragos noted three reasons in his request for the delay, which was filed
with the court Thursday. He said the prosecution has recently produced about
1,000 pages of new material not previously disclosed to the defense. He said McDougal is required by federal court order to remain in home detention in Camden, Ark., at her parents home for 90 days from July 6, 1998. He also said
McDougal is suffering from "a very serious medical condition for which she is
currently being tested and evaluated. She has been advised by her physicians
that she is not medically or physically able to undergo the rigors of a
six-week jury trial."
McDougal is in home detention as she awaits trial in Arkansas for criminal
contempt and obstruction of justice charges in the Whitewater case. That trial
is scheduled to start Sept. 28.