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 ST. LOUIS, Mo., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is the statement of the Attorney General Dan Lungren regarding today's verdict in the Honig case:
 From the outset, we conducted this case according to the highest standards of professionalism, insisting that the facts and the evidence alone dictate its progress and not any other factor.
 Some wanted us to try this case in the press. We refused. Some wanted us to engage in a political debate and respond to vicious attacks on my own integrity. We did not do that. We simply did our job and placed our faith in the jury system.
 The jury has now returned a conviction, confirming by a vote of 12-0 that our case had merit and the charges were legitimate -- and that four conflict-of-interest felonies had been committed by Bill Honig.
 No one should take any joy in this outcome, and we must feel compassion for the pain this episode has caused for Mr. Honig and his family. Yet it should also be noted that with its verdict, the jury has affirmed that public officials must be held to the highest standards of lawful and ethical conduct and should not expect to have serious charges of wrongdoing excused or swept under the rug simply because of their prominent positions.
 Some may wish to characterize Mr. Hong's conviction and removal from office as a tragedy; if so it is a tragedy of his own making. It was his conduct that led to this result.
 I would like to commend the many fine professionals in the California Department of Justice who worked with great skill and integrity on this case. In particular, George Williamson, chief assistant attorney general and head of our Criminal Division who tried the case; as well as Deputy Attorneys General Cindy Besemer and Harry Colombo, who ably assisted him. I would also like to commend Special Agent Dennis Ormerod of our Bureau of Investigation who investigates the charges that were brought to our attention.
 I can assure the people of California that should serious evidence of wrongdoing on the part of public officials be brought to our attention in the future, we will not turn our back on it, simply to avoid criticism or because we fear the outcome. We will vigorously pursue evidence of public corruption wherever it leads and conduct our inquiry in the same manner in which we handled this case -- with fairness, integrity and professionalism.
 -0- 1/29/93
 /CONTACT: Dave Puglia, press secretary of the Office of the Attorney General, 916-324-5500/

CO: California Office of the Attorney General ST: California IN: SU:

SG-GT -- SF012 -- 1030 01/29/93 20:44 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 29, 1993

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