Closing points made in Bar case

Written by Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate January 15, 2013 02:23 pm

Judge has 90 days to rule after DA misconduct trial

District Attorney Jon Alexander’s State Bar trial concluded Monday after closing briefs were submitted. 

A decision is to be rendered by April 11.

If he is found guilty, he could be disbarred, unless the judge finds there was enough mitigating evidence presented to support a different outcome. During his trial, Alexander provided the court with dozens of letters of support and a handful of character witnesses.

Alexander is facing seven charges of misconduct, including corruption, brought forward by the State Bar.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

The DA’s charges stem from giving a $14,000 loan to a probation officer when Alexander was a public defender, receiving a $6,000 loan from a defense attorney, and discussing a case with a defendant without her lawyer present.

The brief submitted on Alexander’s behalf contends that the State Bar failed to meet its burden of proof and that the charges were filed as a result of discrimination against the defendant.

The State Bar’s brief contends it has taken the stand of protecting the public from a DA who has committed repeated unethical acts. The brief’s introduction points to the State Bar calling “unbiased” witnesses as a sign it has not engaged in discriminatory prosecution.

The State Bar did not call on testimony from any of the people who filed the complaints that led to the charges, Alexander’s brief states.

The prosecution did call several figures in the local legal community to the stand, including Assistant District Attorney Katherine Micks, attorneys Darren McElfresh, Leroy Davies and George Mavris, and judges Robert Weir and William Follett.

Alexander has been in trouble with the State Bar before. He has been ordered not to practice law three times in the past, was suspended in 2003 and put on probation in 2004. In addition, he was enrolled inactive for 30 days in 2006, after which he petitioned the court for active status. 

Prior disciplinary actions taken by the Bar against an attorney factor into any sanction; if the attorney has a record of two prior Bar convictions, the current proceeding could result in disbarment unless there are mitigating circumstances to lessen the action, according to the Rules of Procedures of the Bar. 

Half of the trial was used for character testimony supporting Alexander and he submitted more than 200 letters of support.