Editor's note: Due to a production error, an incomplete version of this article appeared in Thursday's print edition. The full story follows, and will also be reprinted in Saturday's edition.
The California State Bar filed its responseTuesdayto suspended District Attorney Jon Alexander's appeal of a Bar judge's recommendation that his law license be permanently revoked.
The two documents - appeal and response - characterize the incident that ultimately led to the judge's decision in starkly different ways.
Alexander's appeal paints him as a victim of discriminatory prosecution compounded by a biased State Bar Court that wrongfully admitted evidence into his October trial.
Bar judge placed Alexander on inactive status for practicing law in
April after she recommended he be disbarred. The judge ruled that
Alexander violated State Bar rules against communicating with a
represented party, moral turpitude and suppressing evidence.
violations stemmed from a conversation he had with a woman facing
drug-related charges after she went into his office with a voice
recorder in her pocket, which was later used to prove Alexander talked
was subsequently suspended from his post by the Board of Supervisors,
prompting another court battle as he fights to be taken off unpaid
administrative leave while his appeal plays out.
State Bar trial counsel's take is that Alexander has failed to uphold
the ethics of a practicing attorney while attempting to cover up
wrongdoing once it was discovered he spoke with a defendant in an
latest grievance is a nadir in Alexander's checkered law career in
which he has been suspended from practicing several times. When the
latest incident occurred, he was on probation, the Bar counsel noted.
Bar response contends that "some of the prior misconduct and all of the
instant misconduct occurred after he stopped using drugs, respondent's
recovery from drug addiction does not reliably predict that respondent
will avoid future misconduct."
appeal contends that his past discretions should be given little weight
in deciding his fate in the latest case due to how long ago they
occurred, ranging from 15 years ago (for two convictions for driving
with a suspended license) to the latest in 2005, when he attempted an ex
parte communication with a judge.
also contended that, considering he was going through a bout with drugs
during a couple of the violations and has since recovered, they also
should carry little weight.
appeal also states that he was targeted for prosecution based on his
prior "disability and medical condition" - referring to his former drug
use and the mental effects it may have caused. The appeal drew from an
e-mail sent by a State Bar prosecutor that opined Alexander should not
be in office because his mental abilities continue to be adversely
affected by long-time methamphetamine use.
The appeal also contends he was singled out because of his former drug use.
The State Bar responded by stating that Alexander failed to prove the contention during the trial.
assertion that he suffered from judicial bias stems from the Bar's
reluctance to postpone his Bar hearings while he prepared for a major
capital murder case.
The State Bar described the claim as "frivolous."
last major point Alexander's appeal produced was the fact the State Bar
Court admitted an "illegal" tape recording as evidence when it should
have been excluded under state law.
State Bar responded by describing the issue as "moot" because Alexander
admitted he recalled the conversation. It added that Alexander was
unable to identify any part of the conversation played on the recording
that had been altered or removed.
having read the Bar's response, I can only reiterate I've done nothing
dishonest or immoral and no person has suffered from any of the false
charges brought against me," said Alexanderon Wednesday.
putting in 70 hours a week to vigorously prosecute criminals and
protect and support law enforcement and the citizens and the children of
this county are grounds for taking my license, I am profoundly and
Reach Anthony Skeens firstname.lastname@example.org .