SAN DIEGO — The disabled brother-in-law of Supreme Court Justice William H. Rehnquist filed formal charges Thursday with the State Bar of Arizona alleging that Rehnquist acted unethically in his handling of a family trust fund.
The complaint, filed as the Senate debates Rehnquist's nomination as chief justice, charges Rehnquist with conflict of interest and failure to meet his legal duties to the bedridden relative. It says his conduct raises "serious questions of ethics and integrity."
The relative, Harold Dickerson Cornell, 73, a former San Diego prosecutor disabled by multiple sclerosis, contends that Rehnquist joined other family members in concealing from him for two decades the existence of a trust fund established for him by his father shortly before the father's death in 1961.
Married to Sister
Cornell maintains that Rehnquist had a conflict because he is married to Cornell's sister, Natalie, who would have shared in the trust proceeds if Cornell had died before receiving the money.