Thursday, May 17, 2018
Dan Trevas previews two bar discipline cases up for oral argument before the Ohio Supreme Court
A former Mahoning County auditor is facing indefinite suspension from the practice of law for conduct related to the “Oakhill” influence-peddling scandal, which led to the criminal conviction of prominent public officials. In Mahoning Count Bar Association v. Sciortino, the parties stipulated that former auditor Michael V. Sciortino committed four violations of the rules barring lawyers from committing illegal acts and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. Sciortino has been serving an interim suspension since his April 2016 plea agreement. Sciortino objects to one of the conditions he would have to meet to be reinstated to the practice of law.
In Disciplinary Counsel v. Owens, the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct recommends a six-month suspension for a Delaware County attorney. His client had been jailed for not paying nearly $60,000 in spousal support, and the attorney used funds belonging to other clients to obtain this client’s release from jail. The attorney denies any wrongdoing, stating that the funds were expected imminently from the man’s new wife, that he explained the circumstances to the agency that handled the support payments, and that other issues were “payment snafus.” He asks either that the case be dismissed or that he receive the lesser sanction of a public reprimand.