Susan McDougal Jury Chosen
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AllPolitics, Aug. 17) -- Seven women and five men have been selected to serve as jurors in the embezzlement trial of Whitewater figure Susan McDougal, but it will be three weeks before they hear any testimony.
McDougal, who was a partner with Bill and Hillary Clinton in the controversial Whitewater land deal, is charged with embezzling about $150,000 from conductor Zubin Mehta and his wife, Nancy.
The 12 jurors include an actor, a teacher, a sports lawyer and a college Spanish professor. Selection of the six alternates was underway Monday afternoon.
The trial will be recessed until Sept. 8 to allow defense lawyers time to review thousands of documents recently handed over by the Internal Revenue Service and found by investigators in the Mehta home.
As McDougal entered the court house Monday, she did not respond to reporters' request for her reaction to President Bill Clinton's grand jury appearance in Washington.
McDougal is accused of forging checks and charging hotel rooms, restaurant meals, airline tickets and shopping sprees between 1989 and 1992 while working as a personal assistant and bookkeeper for the Mehtas. She is also charged with failure to file income tax returns.
If convicted in the embezzlement case, McDougal faces up to seven years in prison.
McDougal was cited for contempt in September 1996 and served 18 months in jail for refusing to answer questions before a Whitewater grand jury.
She recently was released from prison after serving 3 1/2 months of a two-year term for a 1996 bank fraud conviction in the Whitewater case. McDougal was convicted along with her late husband, James, and former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker.
McDougal also faces trial Sept. 28 in federal court in Arkansas on obstruction of justice and contempt counts stemming from her refusal in April to answer questions in front of the grand jury about President Clinton.