January 23, 2012
Victim Forgives; Court Reinstates
The Louisiana Supreme Court has reinstated an attorney disbarred as a result of a conviction in a judicial sting operation.
The court majority stated that "[m]ost significantly...the victim of petitioner's misconduct has indicated her support of his readmission to the practice of law."
The Louisiana Record in a September 8, 2011 post described the case in its report on the favorable board recommendation:
A former attorney from Al Copeland Investments Inc. who was disbarred as part of an expansive federal corruption investigation has completed the first in a three part process to reinstate his law license.
Former Jefferson Parish attorney Bryan White served jail time and lost his law license after an FBI investigation dubbed "Operation Wrinkled Robe" that exposed widespread corruption in the Jefferson Parish court system.
The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board ruled on August 19 that White had "complied with all terms and conditions of all prior disciplinary orders."
The ruling said, "there is clear and convincing evidence" for White to be reinstated.
Operation Wrinkled Robe was a decade-long investigation and subsequent conviction of over a dozen people including judges, attorneys, policemen and bail bondsmen.
Two judges from the 24th Judicial Circuit were sent to prison and two were fired. The investigation was also used against former federal Judge Thomas Porteous, who was impeached by the United States Congress in March 2010.
White was charged with trying to fix the result of a child custody case between millionaire Al Copeland and his wife with former state Judge Ronald Bodenheimer. White pleaded guilty of knowing of the conspiracy but failing to report it and he was sentenced to a year and a day in prison.
Bodenheimer was sentenced 46 months in prison for a variety of conspiracies, including reducing bonds in exchange for gifts.
Three justices dissented and would deny reinstatement. (Mike Frisch)
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