[sixties-l] Charges dismissed against one lawyer for former SLA fugitive

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Mon Jun 11 2001 - 20:47:55 EDT

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    Charges dismissed against one lawyer for former SLA fugitive

    The Associated Press
    Inland Empire Online
    June 9, 2001

    A judge dismissed misdemeanor charges against a lawyer for former SLA
    fugitive Sara Jane Olson. But the long-delayed case against Olson could
    remain on hold even longer until a separate probe by the California State
    Bar is resolved.

    The city attorney's office conceded Friday that attorney Shawn Snider
    Chapman had nothing to do with the release of two police witnesses'
    addresses and phone numbers.

    However, the bar continues to investigate Chapman and co-counsel J.Tony
    Serra on the release of the information, which was briefly posted on a Web

    Chapman maintained from the beginning that she was not involved. Serra, who
    still faces criminal charges, has said the information came from his San
    Francisco office but was inadvertently released.

    Olson, 54, is accused of attempting to murder Los Angeles police officers
    by planting bombs under police cars in 1975 in retaliation for the deaths
    of six SLA members in a fiery shootout the year before. The bombs did not

    Indicted under her former name, Kathleen Soliah, she remained a fugitive
    until her 1999 capture in Minnesota where she was living quietly as a
    housewife and mother.

    Chapman said the case can't proceed until the probe by the California State
    Bar is resolved.
    Superior Court Judge William C. Ryan dismissed the charges against Chapman
    after Deputy City Attorney Edward Gauthier told him, "We're convinced Ms.
    Chapman had nothing to do with this."
    He said his office reached that conclusion after receiving "significant
    additional evidence."

    Serra's trial is set for July 30 before Ryan. The lawyer has said that if
    he is convicted he will leave the case due to conflict of interest.

    Chapman said she was pleased to be exonerated but outraged that the charges
    were filed in the first place.

    "The fact that the charges have been dismissed shows that what I said was
    true, the charges were groundless," said Chapman. "If the city attorney had
    contacted us before filing, they would have known this before dragging my
    name through the mud."

    She said the charges damaged her professional reputation, dismayed her
    family and distracted her and Serra from preparations for the Olson trial.

    "This has thrown a giant monkey wrench into the Olson trial," she said.
    Gauthier refused comment outside court.

    The Olson case has been plagued with delays and lawyer substitutions during
    the two years since her arrest. It is now scheduled for Sept. 4.

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