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Bar News - November 13, 2009

Nixon Plumber Who Went to Prison Tells Story

Egil Krogh
Egil "Bud" Krogh, famous for his role in the Watergate scandal that brought down an American president, is the featured speaker at the New Hampshire Bar Association Professionalism Day Program at the 2010 NHBA Midyear Meeting.

Krogh, who went to prison and suffered disbarment for ordering and planning illegal actions at the behest of his mentors in the highest levels of government, eventually was reinstated as an attorney.

Today, an older and wiser Krogh tours the country speaking to attorneys and other groups about the importance of ethics and professionalism in a world where our ideals are constantly being tested. Many of his lessons are related in his new book, Integrity: Good People, Bad Choices, and Life Lessons from the White House.

Krogh takes his audience through a cautionary and inspirational tale of regret and redemption in this nationally acclaimed CLE program at the Radisson Center of NH on Friday Feb. 12 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. qualifying for 2.5 hours of NHMCLE Ethics/ Professionalism credits.

"I hope that the young men and women who are fortunate enough to have an opportunity to serve in government can benefit from this experience and learn that sincerity can often be as blinding as it is worthy," he wrote in a 1974 statement in connection with his sentencing. "When contemplating a course of action, I hope they will never fail to ask, ‘Is this right?"

As a young government attorney, Krogh had the job of a lifetime working for the Nixon Administration as an advisor. In 1971, however, Krogh made a decision that would change his life forever.

Krogh was promoted from general advisor to the White House to the head of the White House’s "Special Investigation Unit" by John Erlichman, a now notorious figure in the Watergate scandal and a managing partner of the firm where Krogh worked after graduating from the University of Washington School of Law.

Shortly after the Pentagon Papers were leaked to the public, the White House decided to figure out how the papers got out.

Thus was born the team of White House Plumbers, named so because they would fix any leaks that needed fixing. Krogh, who was by then in charge of the operation, approved the September 1971 burglary of the office of Lewis Fielding, the psychiatrist to Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers to the public. The "Plumbers" also was the group that carried out the infamous burglary of the national offices, located in the Watergate office complex, of the Democratic Party. In 1973, Krogh pled guilty to violating the civil rights of Lewis Fielding and was sentenced to two-to-six years in prison and served four-and-a-half months. Krogh was disbarred in 1975 by the Washington State Supreme Court.

Krogh served his time and emerged from prison repentant. In 1977 he petitioned the Washington State Supreme Court for the reinstatement of his law license. Though the first petition was unsuccessful, he was given his law license back in 1980 with recommendations from former opponents at his trial. Find more information about Egil "Bud" Krogh and his programs at his website:

Please visit our Midyear Meeting pages for more information. Registration information will be availalble on those pages as soon as it is available.

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