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Attorney General Paul Douglas






Attorney General Paul DouglasPaul Douglas, (c1927- 4 November 2012) was a former Nebraska Attorney General.

A former Lancaster County attorney who assisted with the prosecution of mass killer Charles Starkweather, Douglas served as attorney general from 1975 to 1984.

However, his public career ended in a stunning series of events brought about by his personal business relationship with Commonwealth Vice President Marvin Copple, who served time in prison for the Lincoln institution's failure. Thousands of Commonwealth depositors lost heavily when funds meant to insure their accounts proved insufficient to cover the deposits.

In 1984, the Nebraska Legislature impeached Douglas, an action later reversed by the State Supreme Court. Douglas was then convicted of felony perjury, which prompted the suspension of his law license. He resigned after the suspension.

After his resignation, Douglas successfully appealed the perjury conviction and started his own single-lawyer office in Lincoln.

He practiced law until his death, most recently providing counsel to some of the Gage County law enforcement authorities sued in the Beatrice Six wrongful conviction case.

Although Douglas could not fully escape the Commonwealth scandal, he was well-liked and respected in the legal community, said retired Lancaster County Judge Janice Gradwohl, a longtime friend.

Douglas made Gradwohl the first female prosecutor in Lancaster County, she said. He always stressed to his deputies that they bring a prosecution only when they had sufficient evidence to prove wrong­doing. He also inspired staff members to go beyond the minimum requirements of their jobs, she said. As a result, attorneys often came to work on most government holidays.

Douglas was born in Sioux Falls, S.D. He joined the U.S. Marines and served two years during World War II in the Pacific and China and was called back for the Korean War.

Upon his return, he graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls and earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law. Douglas was a past president of the Lincoln Bar Association, member of the Nebraska State Bar Association, past president of the Nebraska County Attorneys Association, a director of the National Association of District Attorneys, member of the National Association of Attorney Generals and past chairman of the Nebraska Crime Commission.

He was a fan of all University of Nebraska sports and a member of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation.

Douglas died 4th November 2012 in Lincoln. He was 85. He is survived by his wife, Ardis.






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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024