||Respondent, who is also an Assistant Public Defender in Allegheny County, was arrested as a result of his attempt to smuggle contraband, including tobacco and marijuana, into the Allegheny County Jail for an inmate who was a private client. Respondent was found guilty of a summary offense, the court finding that Respondent did not know that the contraband included marijuana.
The Board found that Respondent knew it was against jail policy to bring tobacco into the jail. The Board also found that Respondent removed all articles from his person only after being requested four (4) times to do so by the corrections officer. The Board further found that Respondent was denied access to the jail; was suspended without pay from his position as an Assistant Public Defender until after adjudication of his criminal charges. The Board also found that that Respondent’s misconduct caused his supervisor in the Public Defender’s Office to have to address the negative publicity caused by his misconduct and to have him reassigned to a unit where he did not need to have access to the jail. The Board found that Respondent “expressed sincere remorse and admitted that what he did…was wrong.” In mitigation, the Board stated that Respondent suffered “much public humiliation for his actions, through the media coverage and by his suspension from his employment with the Public Defender.” The Board further stated that Respondent’s prior informal admonition in 2002 for neglecting a divorce matter was not to be given “considerable weight.” The Board recommended, and the Supreme Court agreed, that Respondent be subjected to a Public Censure.