A Missouri official last week asked the state Supreme Court to suspend the law licenses of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who were seen wielding guns last year to defend their home from Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists who walked through their private, gated neighborhood.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, both personal injury lawyers, pleaded not guilty in October 2020 to felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering. No shots were fired during the incident at their home.
More recently, Mark, 64, pleaded guilty to a Class C misdemeanor of fourth-degree assault, while Patricia, 62, pleaded guilty to a Class A misdemeanor of second-degree harassment. They were required to pay maximum fines of $750 and $2,000, respectively. At the time, they did not lose their law licenses.
Both were both pardoned by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson in July.
But last week, Alan Pratzel, the state Supreme Court’s chief disciplinary officer, filed a motion in court to have both Mark and Patricia’s licences suspended, according to KCUR-FM.
Pratzel said both crimes showed “indifference to public safety” and involved “moral turpitude,” warranting discipline of the pair.
The Supreme Court’s chief cited a number of other Missouri cases in which lawyers were disciplined for “crimes involving moral turpitude” and recommended the Supreme Court suspend the McCloskeys’ licenses indefinitely.
While both McCloskeys were pardoned by Republican Gov. Mike Parson on July 30, Pretzel noted that although the pardon takes away a person’s conviction, “the person’s guilt remains.”
Both McCloskeys were admitted to the Missouri bar in 1986 and practice together as the McCloskey Law Center where they focus on personal injury, medical malpractice, and defective products cases.
Their charges relate to a June 28 incident when they brandished guns outside their home in what they said was self-defense as BLM protesters entered their gated neighborhood while walking to the nearby home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson to protest George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
The couple said in a statement that their actions “were borne solely of fear and apprehension” and said the group was trespassing on a private street.
Nine Black Lives Matter protesters who were involved in the incident were initially arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespassing, but on Sept. 29 the city counselor’s office dropped the charges.
In last week’s court filings, Pretzel also noted that Mark McCloskey told the media that he would commit the same act against if under the same circumstances.
“Respondent’s public statements aggravate because they indicate his refusal to acknowledge wrongdoing and demonstrate his lack of respect for the judicial process that he had recently participated in,” the motion states.
In August, Mark McCloskey filed a lawsuit in St. Louis City Circuit Court to have the guns returned and to have fines the couple paid returned to them.
“The politically-motivated charges that were used to seize our guns were dropped and now the Governor has granted both Patty and me pardons,” Mark said in a statement. “I filed a lawsuit today to demand that the Circuit Attorney return our guns immediately.”
Mark McCloskey is currently running for a U.S. Senate seat as a Republican.