||Respondent, the District Attorney and a Common Pleas Judge-Elect in Monroe County, entered pleas of no contest to multiple counts of indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, and a summary offense in connection with the unlawful fondling of his 10-year old daughter at a music concert in Wilkes-Barre on November 29, 2003. Following his no contest plea on July 12, 2004, Respondent was sentenced by the Luzerne County Court to 10 years probation along with various conditions, and was ordered to register pursuant to “Megan’s Law II” (42 Pa.C.S.A. §9791, et seq.).
This matter generated substantial news coverage throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania in particular, as well as statewide.
A disciplinary hearing was held in this matter on August 30, 2005. The evidence indicated that Respondent had suffered problems with alcohol commencing in or before 1993, but that he had substantially overcome these problems. At the time of the incident, Respondent’s alcohol use was infrequent, although the night of the incident he consumed vodka, and took a muscle relaxant, while driving to the concert.
No Braun mitigation was found to exist. Furthermore, the Board noted the case was exceptionally egregious given the nature of the conduct, and the fact that Respondent was, at the time of the conduct, both a sitting District Attorney and a Common Pleas Judge-Elect.
The Hearing Committee unanimously recommended disbarment. The Disciplinary Board, following oral argument, recommended disbarment to the Court by an 11 to 5 vote, the 5 votes being for a 5 year suspension.
The Court, with one dissent for a 5 year suspension, directed Respondent’s disbarment, after denying a request for oral argument.