Kilpatrick lawyer broke conduct rules

March 2, 2010 at 7:36 PM
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DETROIT, March 2 (UPI) -- A lawyer who represented former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in a police whistle-blower trial faces sanctions for professional misconduct, a panel said.

Samuel McCargo withheld material facts from a court by not telling a judge Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, had lied under oath at the 2007 trial, the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board ruled, the Detroit Free Press reported.

McCargo helped negotiate an $8.4 million settlement of lawsuits filed by three Detroit police officers and represented Kilpatrick, who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in 2008 and has agreed to pay $1 million restitution to the city of Detroit.

Mike Stefani, another lawyer representing police officers, gave McCargo a legal brief containing text messages showing Kilpatrick and Beatty had lied at a trial involving two of the officers, the Free Press said. But McCargo and other lawyers did not report the perjury and tried to cover up the text messages, the newspaper said.

The settlement in the police officers' suit came after Stefani obtained the text messages, which led to charges against Kilpatrick and Beatty.

"The facts of this case would make an ideal law school final exam in professional ethics," the three-member attorney discipline panel said in an 83-page ruling. "Unfortunately, the actions and motivations by the various participants resulted in a real-life perfect storm for professional misconduct to occur."

McCargo could be reprimanded, suspended or disbarred.

His attorney, George Bedrosian, said he will appeal.

"Anybody who came near Kilpatrick during this whole period of time ended up being in trouble," Bedrosian said. "This guy (Kilpatrick) is out in 90 days and living high on the hog while everybody else is falling by the wayside."

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