A committee of the D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility has recommended that a former White House adviser have his law license suspended for 90 days in connection to a series of thefts from Target stores.
Claude Allen, a former assistant to President George W. Bush for domestic policy issues, admits that on three separate occasions, he bought an item at a Target store, brought the receipt back to the store, picked up an identical item, and then used the receipt to return it, allowing him to keep the item at no cost. According to the committee’s Nov. 19 report, in 2005 Allen stole a $525 Bose stereo, a $237 Kodak printer, and an $88 RCA stereo.
Allen pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of theft of property under $500 on Aug. 4, 2006, after he was arrested at a Target store in Gaithersburg, Md. He was sentenced to two years of supervised probation, 40 hours of community service, and a fine of $625.
The report says Allen should face a “modest sanction” because as an adviser to Bush during Hurricane Katrina, which occurred shortly before the thefts, he internalized some of the suffering he witnessed during the crisis. The report also takes into account his public service, cooperation with the investigation, and the fact that he has already completed a 90-day suspension in Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Allen, who resigned in February 2006 as President Bush's top domestic policy adviser, was nominated by the president to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Legal Times reported in 2003 that Allen drew fire during his confirmation hearing for his use of the word “queer” in remarks he made during the re-election campaign of then-Sen. Jesse Helms, (R.-N.C.). As Helms’ chief spokesman, Allen said Helms' opponent, then-North Carolina Gov. James Hunt, had links to "radical feminists" and "the queers."
He later withdrew his name in the face of Democratic opposition.
A member of the D.C. Bar since 1992, Allen also served as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.