April 23, 2010
Suspension For Domestic Battery
An Illinois hearing board has recommended a two-year suspension without automatic reinstatement of an attorney for two incidents of domestic violence as well as misconduct in a probate case. The hearing board described the behavior:
On June 7, 1997, Respondent got into an argument with his wife while in a Batavia, Illinois, restaurant, El Taco Grande. Respondent, who was intoxicated at the time, slapped his wife on the right side of her face causing redness and swelling. Batavia police officers were called to the scene and Respondent’s wife signed a complaint prepared by the officers.
At the time of this incident there was a criminal statute in Illinois, 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(a)(1) outlawing domestic battery. By the actions described above, Respondent knowingly and without legal justification caused bodily harm to his wife. Accordingly, on June 16, 1997, the State’s Attorney of Kane County filed a complaint against Respondent...in the Circuit Court of Kane County, Illinois. The complaint charged Respondent with committing the offense of domestic battery in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(a)(1). On July 31, 1997, Respondent pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a fine to the clerk of the Circuit Court of Kane County in the amount of $200.
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 761(a) requires that Respondent report his conviction to the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission in writing. At no time has Respondent notified the Administrator of his conviction in writing.
On February 13, 2007, Respondent got into an argument with his 17-year-old daughter while at their home in Aurora, Illinois. Respondent squirted his daughter with a water bottle and in an ensuing struggle, when his daughter attempted to wrest the bottle from him, Respondent slapped her and scratched her neck. Respondent’s daughter stated that she would telephone the police. Respondent threatened to "beat the shit out of" her if she called the police. Respondent’s daughter then telephoned the police.
After the police arrived, Respondent’s daughter signed a sworn statement attesting to the facts of the incident set forth above. At that time, an Aurora police officer prepared and signed a complaint against Respondent, placed him under arrest, and transported him to the Aurora Police Department, where he was held overnight.
At the time of this incident there were criminal statutes in Illinois, 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(a)(1) and 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(a)(2), which outlaw domestic battery and outlaw making contact of an insulting or provoking nature, respectively. By the actions described above, Respondent knowingly, and without legal justification, caused bodily harm to his daughter. Accordingly, on February 14, 2007, the State’s Attorney of Kane County filed a two-count complaint against Respondent...in the Circuit Court of Kane County, Illinois. The complaint charged Respondent with violating 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(a)(1) and 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(a)(2). Respondent’s daughter declined to cooperate with the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office and on August 16, 2007, the State dismissed Respondent’s criminal matter nolle prosequi.
I have omitted from the above-quoted findings the references to exhibits and case information. (Mike Frisch)
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