Thursday, February 16, 2012
The Illinois Administrator has filed a complaint alleging misconduct by an attorney who represented a drug defendant.
The complaint states that the attorney received a video of the undercover drug purchase in discovery. He allegedly showed the video to "approximately 20 people who were not related to [the] case" in violation of governing rules.
In or about April 2011, Respondent caused the video to be uploaded in two parts to an internet website known as YouTube (www.youtube.com) and entitled them, "Cops and Task Force Planting Drugs – Part 1" and "Cops and Task Force Planting Drugs – Part 2."
Respondent released the videos from his custody into the possession of John Hamann, an employee of the Quincy, Illinois company ‘Pyrographics,’ to be posted on the internet website YouTube. Respondent paid Pyrographics $233.75 for this service.
At no time did Respondent inform [the client] that he intended to post the videos on YouTube.
At no time did [the client] authorize Respondent to post the videos on YouTube.
The videos posted on YouTube were described by Respondent as a "drug plant" and implied that the Drug Task Force engaged in improper or illegal conduct by entrapping [the client]. The videos also showed the identity of a confidential source.
On or about April 11, 2011, Respondent posted a link to the videos on his page of an internet website known as Facebook (www.facebook.com), which would take a visitor from Respondent’s Facebook page directly to the videos on YouTube.
On April 20, 2011, the Pike County State’s Attorney, in case no. 11 CF 15, filed a motion for sanctions alleging Respondent violated the discovery rules by disseminating the videos.
On May 20, 2011, the court found that Respondent had violated Rule 415(c) and ordered Respondent to remove the videos from the internet.
Between March 4, 2011, when Respondent received the discovery in case no. 11 CF 15, and May 20, 2011, when Respondent was ordered by the court to remove the videos, the videos received more than 2,000 hits on YouTube.
Let's see how this one progresses. (Mike Frisch)