Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lawyer Disbarred for Sex Behind Bars

West Virginia attorney G. Patrick Stanton lost his license for working a fraudulent scheme to maintain a sexual relationship with an inmate, according to a report at the Charleston Gazette. Here's an excerpt from the Associated Press story:

T[he] unanimous ruling [of the Supreme Court] said G. Patrick Stanton Jr. pretended to be the woman's attorney to obtain a one-on-one visit with her at the Pruntytown Correctional Center.  Stanton had previously represented inmate Rose Auvil. Following the October 2005 incident, he resigned as head of the state insurance commissioner's consumer advocacy office. He had held the post for less than three months. The state Lawyer Disciplinary Board had recommended admonishing Stanton. The court disagreed, calling his act of deceit shocking and unprecedented.
I'm actually fairly amazed at this outcome, if this story is trustworthy a lawyer has been disbarred for sexually misconduct shy of rape--in light of the wrist slaps that we've seen around the country for pretty outrageous conduct by lawyers in the realm of lawyer-client sex. 

The crux, of the disciplinary sanction appears to be directed at the fraudulent behavior of the lawyer combined with the position of trust as a public official.  It is the right result.

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