N.Y. Disbars Roy Cohn on Misconduct Charges

Associated Press

Power broker Roy M. Cohn, whose checkered legal career has taken him from the Senate floor to the side of mobsters over four decades, was disbarred today by the state.

The order against the flamboyant Cohn was handed down by the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, which polices lawyers for the state.

A lawyers’ disciplinary committee, an arm of the appeals court, recommended Cohn’s disbarment a year ago over three cases dating to 1966. The court could have rejected the recommendation.

Last July, it was revealed the committee had found Cohn guilty of misconduct on three allegations:


--That he borrowed $100,000 from a client in 1966 but did not repay it until 1984, when the disciplinary hearings were under way.

--That he improperly used a $219,000 escrow fund established by a 1971 court order.

--That he reportedly submitted a false sworn statement about the disciplinary hearing while applying for a license to practice law in Washington.

Scoffed at Charges


Cohn, 59, had scoffed at the charges against him last year, saying they would go “no place. It’s not my nature to be intimidated by this bunch of yo-yos.” He was not in his Manhattan law office today, and a secretary said he could not be reached for comment.

Cohn had stayed in the spotlight during his law career, which put him at the side of headline-makers from Sen. Joseph McCarthy to reputed mobster Carmine Galante.

He served as McCarthy’s aide during the anti-communist hearings of the 1950s. When the Wisconsin senator’s influence dissipated, Cohn moved on to work as a corporate executive and represent clients such as National Airlines.

The hearings which led to his disbarment were not the first of Cohn’s legal woes. In the 1960s, he was dogged by the Internal Revenue Service for back taxes, and he was indicted three times on charges of fraud, blackmail and perjury. He was never convicted.