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Kalmbach remained the President's lawyer until his pleas of guilty last week. Only then did he resign from the firm that had soared so high so fast since the election of 1968. He also quit as chairman and a director of the Bank of Newport, which he founded two years ago. Kalmbach now faces the likelihood that he will be disbarred, but even if he never practiced again, he would likely remain a wealthy man: he has sizable real estate holdingsmainly apartment houses and office buildingsin California and Hawaii.
Though money is no problem for Kalmbach, social prestige is. "Nixon's man" had risen with sleek assurance in the moneyed society of Newport Beach, just an hour's drive by Cadillac south of Los Angeles. He was a power in the Lincoln Club of Orange County, an organization of wealthy and conservative G.O.P. contributors. He hobnobbed with the likes of John ("Duke") Wayne and Donald Nixon, the President's brother, both neighbors in Newport.
In the past half year, Kalmbach has all but withdrawn from the cocktail circuit and the lush golf courses. He has denned up with his attractive wifea former Rose Bowl princessand one of their three children in their $100,000 house overlooking the lean white yachts tugging at anchor in the harbor. Last fall Kalmbach made the mistake of appearing at the 25th anniversary dinner of the Balboa Bay Club. As a director he was included in the testimonials, but when he stood to acknowledge his name, there was a pause of embarrassed silence followed by a timid patter of applause. Says a guest who watched Kalmbach's humiliation: "It was pathetic."