Supreme Court Issues Stayed Suspension for Law Director
The elected part-time law director for the city of Zanesville received a six-month stayed suspension of his law license from the Ohio Supreme Court today for conduct that led to criminal convictions.
Scott T. Hillis was arrested, charged, and pleaded no contest to misdemeanor offenses of solicitation and criminal trespass after he was found by police with a known prostitute in his parked car on private property.
After the Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed a complaint, the parties agreed that Hillis’s conduct violated Prof.Cond. R. 8.4(h) (prohibiting a lawyer from engaging in conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer’s fitness to practice law).
A panel of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline and the full board agreed that the appropriate sanction was a six-month stayed suspension and recommended the Supreme Court adopt the consent-to-discipline agreement and sanction.
The court’s 7-0 per curiam (not assigned to a specific justice) opinion cites six mitigating factors and no aggravating factors in its consideration to adopt the consent-to-discipline agreement and recommended sanction. The court agreed that Hillis violated Prof.Cond. R. 8.4(h).
The court also compared the severity of discipline issued in this case to a similar case.
“While the facts in this case are very similar to the facts in Richland Cty. Bar Assn. v. Brightbill, 56 Ohio St.3d 95, 564 N.E.2d 471 (1990) (a public reprimand was warranted for an assistant prosecuting attorney convicted of impersonating a police officer and soliciting sexual activity for hire), we agree with the parties that a greater sanction is warranted in this case due to Hillis’s position as an elected public official.”
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