Panel: Whittemore Should Keep Law License

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - A Nevada State Bar disciplinary panel is recommending that former Nevada political powerbroker Harvey Whittemore be allowed to keep his law license until the appeal of his three felony convictions for violating campaign finance laws is decided.

The committee, in a unanimous decision released late Friday, said the temporary suspension of his law license should be lifted and his case should be placed on hold until his appeal is resolved.

The Nevada Supreme Court has 30 days to decide whether to accept the recommendation or to continue to suspend his license or disbar him.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports ( ) the committee concluded "discipline of a person who is later determined to be innocent is an injustice."

Whittemore last year was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of using family and friends as "straw donors" to pump more than $130,000 into the campaign of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2007.