As sexual assault allegations against Senate candidate Roy Moore continue to make national headlines, one Brookline attorney decided it was time to take things into his own hands.
For J. Whitfield Larrabee, the calls for Moore to simply drop out of the Alabama race aren’t enough. Larrabee argues that Moore needs to have his license to practice law in the state revoked.
Moore, a former chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court and a candidate for US Senate, has been accused of having had inappropriate relationships with teenage girls, including a 14-year-old, while in his 30s.
In a complaint filed to the Alabama State Bar’s disciplinary commission Thursday, Larrabee presented his argument, laying out three rules from the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct that he says Moore has broken.
Count 1: “Moore violated Rule 8.4(b) of the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct by engaging in criminal conduct that reflects ‘adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.’ ”
Count 2: “Moore engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct.”
Count 3: “Roy violated and continues to violate Rule 8.4(d) of the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct by engaging ‘in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.’ ”
Larrabee writes that Moore has allegedly engaged in several types of misconduct, including numerous instances of sexual assault, witness intimidation, threats to file baseless litigation, publicly lying to cover up sex crimes, disregarding a federal injunction, and interfering with the legal process.
“For an attorney to be out in public, publicly lying about a very significant offense, criminal activity, and then intimidating the media on that, it’s extremely unethical,” Larrabee said in a telephone interview. “So I think that’s something — the current activities — that the disciplinary authorities in Alabama can look into.”
It is not the first time Larrabee has filed complaints against high-profile politicians and organizations, even in Alabama. Earlier this year, he filed one against Alabama native US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He has also filed complaints about President Trump, the Trump Foundation, and Eric Trump.
Larrabee’s firm, which is located on Harvard Street in Brookline, handles a variety of litigation, including civil rights violations and sexual harassment cases.
When it comes to Moore, Larrabee said he is a “lawbreaker” who is not fit to serve in the US Senate.
“I think he’s part of the level of extremism that’s taken over the Republican Party,” Larrabee said. “He’s a hatemonger.”
Larrabee said the state will typically review his complaint and then give the subject of the complaint a chance to respond. From there, the disciplinary commission will review the case and determine whether there’s probable cause to have a hearing about the issue, he said.
Moore’s election has become a “matter of national concern,” Larrabee said, adding that everyone has a different way he or she can intervene and act.
Lawyers in Alabama, in particular, might be too intimidated to file a complaint against a powerful politician, Larrabee said, so he decided to step up.
“As an out-of-state lawyer, I’m willing to speak up,” he said. “It’s difficult for him to retaliate against me, so I have the opportunity to speak up.”