ET Women Sound Off on Stewart Verdict - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/9/04 - Tyler

ET Women Sound Off on Stewart Verdict

  Guilty on all four counts. That was the verdict in the trial of domestic diva Martha Stewart. A suspicious stock sale, conspiracy, and lying to investigators. But whatever happened to the executives at Enron, Worldcom, or Tyco, some of whom have not even been charged? High-profile East Texas attorney Karen Roberts says the term "obstruction of justice" perhaps applies even more to those men than this woman.

"I think that the Enron folks, whether it's Ken Lay or the people beneath him, harmed a lot more people than Martha Stewart has ever harmed," Roberts said.

District Judge Carole Clark says it may be the long paper trail that's delaying the prosecution of the top male executives. Judge Clark doesn't think Stewart was singled out. She believes in the judicial system.

"The system worked just like it works in my court or any other court," Clark said. "It wouldn't matter what your sex."

Patti Mehling, owner of The Cleaning Co., doesn't think Stewart was unfairly targeted.

"I think anybody in her position would have been treated the same, whether that be Donald Trump or, you know, George Bush, or anyone," Mehling said.

Mehling applauds Stewart for her success but says her dishonesty has given a bad name to women in business: "I feel like she could've made such headway, especially for women, if she just admitted the mistake. Who hasn't made a mistake?"

That said, all three women believe the same message was sent with Stewart's verdict.

"Whoever you are, whatever you do, you're not immune from being prosecuted," Roberts said.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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