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Judge Refuses to Dismiss Case Against McDougal

March 25, 1997

A Santa Monica Superior Court judge Monday refused to dismiss embezzlement charges against Whitewater figure Susan McDougal after her attorney argued she was illegally transferred to Los Angeles from a federal facility in Texas.

McDougal has been jailed in the Sybil Brand Institute for Women since mid-December awaiting trial on charges that she stole $150,000 from former Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Zubin Mehta and his wife. She was moved there from a Fort Worth federal medical facility, where she was incarcerated for contempt after refusing to testify before a Whitewater grand jury.

On Monday, Judge Paul Flynn denied the defense's motion that interstate extradition laws were violated when McDougal was brought to Los Angeles to face charges that she forged checks and made fraudulent credit card purchases while working as a bookkeeper for Nancy Mehta. Mark Geragos, McDougal's attorney, said he will appeal Flynn's ruling.

Flynn ordered McDougal moved to a Pasadena city jail last week after Geragos complained that the high security at the county jail was impeding his ability to talk to her. But McDougal remained at Sybil Brand on Monday while the county counsel reviewed the order for her transfer.

The trial is set to start March 28.

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