WASHINGTON -- Fawn Hall, who received immunity from prosecution after shredding documents relating to the Iran-Contra scandal, has learned the letter of the law can spell trouble when caught munching on a forbidden fruit.
Hall was cited Tuesday for eating a banana on a subway platform in downtown Washington, a violation that could carry a $10 fine.
But the former secretary of Lt. Col. Oliver North, who showed her combative side during testimony at the Iran-Contra hearings, may contest the citation, her attorney said Wednesday.
'I think it's a tempest in a teapot,' said the attorney, Plato Cacheris. He also said Hall may have been singled out.
'She's very visible,' he said of the blond, 27-year-old part-time model with the Farrah Fawcett-style hairdo. 'I think he (the citing officer) knew who she was.'
A spokeswoman for Metro -- Washington's decade-old ultra-clean rail system -- said the officer did not realize who Hall was until he asked her for identification.
'It wasn't like he said, 'there's Fawn Hall,'' said Mary Bucklew, a spokeswoman for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Signs prohibiting eating and drinking are clearly posted throughout the system, and Hall purposely disobeyed a transit officer by finishing a half-eaten banana when she was told to stop, Bucklew said.
'You have to stop eating that banana,' the unidentified officer said, according to Bucklew. 'Whereupon, she popped the rest of it in her mouth and threw the peel in the trash can.'
Hall testified under protection from immunity at the congressional hearings June 8-9. She defended her former boss at the National Security Council and admitted that as North's secretary she helped destroy, alter and smuggle potential evidence in the case.
Hall, now a secretary at the Pentagon, did not report to work Wednesday, according to her colleagues.
Cacheris said Hall had not known that eating in Metro stations is illegal.
'I think it's a little bit overdrawn,' he said.
Metro issues about 10 to 12 citations a day for eating or drinking in its subway stations, rail cars and buses, Bucklew said.
'Metro has a pretty good reputation for being clean,' Bucklew said. 'We get that by enforcing the rules.'