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Release of Limbaugh plea talks defended

By Associated Press
Published March 7, 2004

WEST PALM BEACH - In response to a Florida Bar complaint, Palm Beach County prosecutors are defending their release of correspondence about plea negotiations with attorneys for radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Landmark Legal Foundation filed the ethics complaint against Palm Beach County State Attorney Barry Krischer and his chief assistant for releasing letters with Limbaugh's attorneys.

Landmark President Mark R. Levin alleged Krischer and Kenneth Selvig misrepresented conversations they had with the state attorney general's office and the bar before deciding to make the letters public.

"That claim is patently false," Arthur Jacobs, Selvig's attorney, wrote Feb. 27 in response to the complaint. As an elected official, Krischer is not subject to bar regulations.

According to records released after requests from Landmark and the media, prosecutors rejected a deal suggested by Limbaugh's attorney that called for a drug intervention program rather than charges of illegally obtaining prescription painkillers.

Prosecutors wanted Limbaugh to plead guilty to the third-degree felony of "doctor shopping" - visiting several doctors to receive duplicate prescriptions for a controlled narcotic.

Prosecutors wrote the defense in December that they had enough evidence to support 10 felony charges. Limbaugh has not been charged.

Jacobs argued there should be no controversy because a spokesman for Limbaugh's radio network mentioned a possible settlement before the letters were released.

Prosecutors "created a false record and in fact failed to follow the actual advice it received from the Florida Attorney General's Office and the Florida Bar - a direct and knowing assault on the integrity of the administration of justice," Levin said in a release Friday.

[Last modified March 7, 2004, 01:35:55]

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