July 11, 2008
DA Theft Leads To Interim Suspension
A district attorney in Texas was suspended pending final discipline as a result of allegations (reported here) and a subsequent conviction on charges that he had caused public funds to be direct deposited into a personal bank account. The basis of the interim sanction is summarized on the web page of the Texas State Bar:
On June 25, 2008, the Board of Disciplinary Appeals signed an interlocutory order of suspension against Rockwall attorney Galen Ray Sumrow, 58, State Bar of Texas Card No. 19511375. On or about March 25, 2008, Sumrow was convicted of theft by a public servant, aggregated over $1,500 but less than $20,000, a third degree felony, in violation of Texas Penal Code §§ 31.03(e)(4), 31.03(f)(1) and 31.09, Intentional Crimes as defined in the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, in Cause number 2-07-629 styled, The State of Texas v. Galen Ray Sumrow, in the 382nd District Court of Rockwall County, Texas. Sumrow was sentenced to four years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $9,652.76. In addition, he was ordered to be removed as Criminal District Attorney of Rockwall County for official misconduct and intentional unlawful behavior relating to his official duties. Sumrow has appealed the conviction. The Board retains jurisdiction to enter a final judgment when the criminal appeal is final. Sumrow did not answer the petition for compulsory discipline or appear at the hearing.
This action is consistent with disciplinary procedures throughout the country that treat a conviction as a basis for summary suspension pending a determination of the appropriate final discipline. (Mike Frisch)
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