Thursday, June 27, 2013

Disbarment Proposed For Overreaching Prosecutor

It's a day of discipline for former prosecutors.

The Illinois Review Board has recommended disbarment on facts summarized in the board's synopsis:

The Administrator charged Respondent with misconduct arising  out his conduct in two matters Respondent handled while he was an Assistant  State's Attorney in Carroll County. In the first count, the Administrator  alleged that Respondent overreached his position of trust as a prosecutor when  he began a personal relationship with a defendant, K.I., in a case he  prosecuted. Respondent engaged in a discussion with K.I. while she was in jail.  After K.I. was sentenced and released from custody, Respondent had another  conversation of a personal nature. Respondent took K.I. out to dinner, and while  in the car, touched her leg and kissed her. Respondent later sent K.I. four text  messages. In the second count, Respondent, in his capacity as an Assistant  States Attorney, charged A.F. with child pornography for taking pictures of  J.C., who was 14 years old when the pictures were taken. During the course of  the prosecution of the case, Respondent developed a personal relationship with  J.C. and her family. As a result of that relationship, Respondent was removed  from the case, but he continued the relationship with J.C. and her family. On  February 22, 2010, when J.C. was 17 years old, she was at Respondent's  apartment, and he kissed her and touched her breast.

Respondent failed to appear at his disciplinary hearing. The  Hearing Board filed a Report and Recommendation concluding that Respondent  engaged in overreaching his position of trust and authority as a prosecutor in  both matters. The Hearing Board concluded that Respondent engaged in conduct  prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5) of  the 1990 Rules of Professional Conduct or 8.4(d) of the 2010 Rules because his  conduct undermined the authority of the State's Attorney's Office and the  criminal justice system. The Hearing Board also concluded that with respect to  the second matter, Respondent engaged in criminal conduct in violation of Rule  8.4(b). The Hearing Board recommended that Respondent be disbarred.

Respondent filed exceptions to the Hearing Board's Report and  Recommendation.

Upon review, the Review Board noted that Respondent's brief  failed to comply with the Rules and failed to provide a comprehensible basis for  the review of the Hearing Board's conclusions. The Review Board reviewed the  record and found no reason to disturb the Hearing Board's findings or  recommendation. The Review Board recommended that Respondent be disbarred.

(Mike Frisch)

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