Thursday, January 3, 2019

Recovery Cited As Reason To Reinstate Attorney

A suspended California attorney has petitioned for reinstatement.

The misconduct

“On four separate occasions during a two—month period, respondent Mark Daniel Wenzel hid a small video camera in a unisex public restroom at Coffee Bean restaurants in Los Angeles. Each time, the camera was found by a patron or employee and turned over to the police, but not before it recorded individuals using the toilet. Wenzel was convicted of a misdemeanor violation of Penal Code section 647, subdivision (i)(1) (viewing into a restroom by means of an instrumentality), and the criminal court imposed a “suspended sentence and probation with conditions.

He explained the impact of alcohol and drugs on his life

Applying these truisms to myself, by about 2009, after drinking again for five or six years, I had become selfish, and started to view life from the perspective of — what will I get out of it. This is not a positive admission I make about myself, and I need to temporize it a little bit. I hadn’t lost all my moral upbringing, training and values. I had not resorted to, nor had I ever contemplated — stealing, assaulting anyone, defrauding anyone, plotting revenge on anyone, or anything like that. However, in the one area of my life — being stimulated, by the female form, I compromised my values, and engaged in conduct that I knew to be wrong.

Each of the times I secreted the cameras in the unisex restrooms at Coffee Bean or at my home to spy on my wife and on that one occasion, her close friend, I felt terrible afterwards. Why I yielded to such base temptations on the occasions I did, I believe was related to the extent of my drinking during that general time frame. By this I don’t mean to say that I was ‘drunk at the time’, although I was drunk that time at my home when my wife’s friend was spending the night. What I mean is that — during the holiday season I generally drank more and thus had somewhat more distorted thinking day in and day out at such times.”

The petition details his commitment to a 12-step program, recovery from substance abuse and efforts to make amends to his victims.

The suspension recommendation is linked here. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink


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