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ARDC Hearing Board Recommends 60 Day Suspension for Resume Falsehoods

Filed April 10.

This is a case involving a lawyer who successfully obtained employment with DCFS. The ARDC charged that he falsified his Illinois Employment Application by listing employment at a company. By falsifying employment (and salary) the lawyers was able to obtain a higher salary than he otherwise would have obtained.

On July 1, 2003, Respondent received a four-year term position as an attorney with DCFS at a salary of $85,000. (Tr. 51, 55). That position required him to be a lawyer. (Tr. 270). At that time, Respondent was aware of the Governor’s Office’s policy that new employees to State government could not receive 10% more than their most recent salary. (Tr. 52-53). However, he also was aware that exceptions could be made to this policy. (Tr. 53-54).

Shortly thereafter, DCFS asked for verification of Respondent’s employment and salary at Codevco. (Tr. 57). Respondent testified he was upset by this request, but did not admit to anyone at DCFS that he had not served as legal counsel to Codevco and that he was not paid a salary by Codevco. (Tr. 59). Instead, he asked his father, who worked at Codevco, to provide a letter verifying his employment. (Tr. 59; Adm. Ex. 2). Respondent testified he does not recall the specifics of that conversation with his father. (Tr. 59-60). However, he admitted he knew that by providing the letter he was providing false information. (Tr. 60). After he submitted the letter from Codevco, DCFS made no further requests for Respondent’s employment verification. (Tr. 60).”

The panel held that the lawyer violated Rule 8.4(a)(4) which prohibits conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

In 2007, the lawyer was not rehired by DCFS. He filed a lawsuit against DCFS, which was dismissed.

The sad part of this case is that the error occurred in 2003, eleven years ago, yet disciplinary proceedings are ongoing.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.