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Law license suspension possible for gun-waving US Senate candidate Mark McCloskey

Jack Suntrup and Kurt Erickson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in News & Features

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — St. Louis attorney and U.S. Senate candidate Mark McCloskey faces suspension of his law license after pleading guilty this year to misdemeanor assault.

The case, filed by the state Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel on Thursday with the Missouri Supreme Court, follows McCloskey’s conviction in June of fourth-degree assault connected to his waving of a rifle at racial justice protesters last summer.

Republicans saw his action as an example of the “castle doctrine,” which allows property owners to defend their homes with firearms.

Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, pardoned McCloskey and his wife, Patricia, but the new legal fight shows the St. Louis attorney could still face consequences, including suspension of his law license for up to six months.

A similar motion by the court’s disciplinary officer was filed against Patricia McCloskey, who also is an attorney.

The incident that led to their guilty pleas came in June 2020 following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. As a group of protesters walked through the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, the McCloskeys stood outside their home on Portland Place with a rifle and a pistol.

 

No shots were fired.

The letter from Chief Disciplinary Counsel Alan Pratzel, who is in charge of attorney discipline in Missouri, said the duo “admitted committing a criminal act that shows indifference to public safety and involved moral turpitude.”

Pratzel cited previous disciplinary cases where the high court took action against attorneys for drunken driving, assault and misdemeanor stealing.

“When (McCloskey) pled guilty, he admitted the purposeful criminal conduct of placing others in apprehension of physical harm by waving his automatic rifle in their direction,” Pratzel wrote.

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