Thursday, May 24, 2012
An attorney has been publicly censured by the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department as a result of discipline imposed in the District of Columbia:
The instant application is predicated upon an order issued by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals following receipt of the report and recommendation of an Ad Hoc Hearing Committee of the District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility, issued on or about September 13, 2011, which recommended approval of a petition for negotiated attorney discipline. According to the petition for negotiated discipline, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division (hereinafter the Michigan Court), appointed the respondent, on or about July 18, 2003, as a monitor to evaluate compliance with two consent judgments involving the City of Detroit. Although the respondent's position required her to remain neutral and independent from the parties, from in or about late 2003 through 2004, the respondent had "undisclosed and personal communications with then Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick" and, in early 2004, "intimate contact with the then Mayor." After the Michigan Court confronted the respondent with these facts, she voluntarily resigned as monitor on July 22, 2009.
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals noted that the Michigan Court did not seek the respondent's resignation and that, to the contrary, believed she could continue in her position as monitor. Moreover, the respondent mitigated her conduct by taking full responsibility for her actions and fully cooperating with District of Columbia Bar Counsel. Furthermore, the respondent did not have any prior disciplinary history, her conduct did not result in personal gain and neither negatively nor financially impacted the monitored cases, and no client was harmed. As a result of the respondent's conduct, the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Hearing Committee to publicly censure the respondent was adopted.
The ethics cases tied to the former Detoit Mayor may be winding down, but the end has not quite been reached. (Mike Frisch)