BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
OF THE
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
AND
DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

MICHAEL WAYNE HART,

Attorney-Respondent, 

No. 6188332.

 

Commission No.  08 CH 08

FILED -  January 28, 2008

COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Cass R. Buscher, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 761, complains of Respondent, Michael Wayne Hart, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on November 16, 1984, and alleges that Respondent has engaged in the following conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute:

Conviction for Obstruction of a Peace Officer and Unlawful Loaning of a Permit

1. On or about December 2, 2006, in Stephenson County, Illinois, Respondent and his long time friend, Tom Galusha ("Galusha"), were hunting and Galusha killed a deer. So that Galusha could continue to hunt, Respondent gave Galusha his son, Kyle Hart's, permit for the deer. At no time during their hunting trip was Kyle Hart with Respondent and Galusha.

2. At all times alleged in the complaint, according to 550 ILCS 5/2.38, it was unlawful for any person to "loan or transfer to another person any license, permit, or tag issued to another person."

3. Respondent and Galusha took the deer, tagged with Kyle's permit, to the deer check station located at the Stephenson County fairgrounds maintained by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Respondent informed Investigator Mike Lyne that his son, Kyle Hart had shot and killed the deer.

4. Respondent's statement to Investigator Lyne, described in paragraph 3 above, was false, and Respondent knew it was false, because Galusha had killed the deer and not Kyle Hart.

5. At all times alleged in the complaint, 550 ILCS 5/1.22 states that "it shall be unlawful for any person to resist or obstruct any authorized employee of the Department or other peace officer in the discharge of his duties under the provisions hereof."

6. From December 2, 2006 through at least January 11, 2007, Respondent stated to Investigator Lyne on three separate interviews as to who had shot the deer on December 2, 2006. Respondent asserted on all three occasions that it was his son, Kyle, who shot the deer.

7. Respondent's statements to Investigator Lyne, described in paragraph 6 above, were false, and Respondent knew they were false, because Galusha had killed the deer and not Kyle Hart.

8. On or about January 22, 2007, Investigator Lyne issued Respondent tickets for Obstructing a Peace Officer, in violation of 550 ILCS 5/1.22 and for Unlawful Loaning of a Permit, in violation of 520 ILCS 5/2.38.

9. On or about November 9, 2007, the Stephenson County State's Attorney filed two criminal matters in the Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit based on the tickets, described in paragraph 7, above. The matters were docketed as the State of Illinois v. Michael Hart, cases number 2007 CV 38 and 2007 CV 35.

10. On or about November 9, 2007, Respondent pleaded guilty to both case numbers 2007 CV 38 and 2007 CV 35. The Honorable James M. Hauser sentenced Respondent to one-year supervision, $750 in fines and costs and $500 in restitution in case number 2007 CV 38 and one-year supervision and $750 in fines and costs in case number 2007 CV 35. Certified copies of the judgments of conviction and Judge Hauser's sentencing orders are attached as Administrator's Exhibits One and Two.

11. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, by virtue of his convictions for obstruction of a peace officer in violation of 520 ILCS 5/1.22 and by virtue of his conviction for unlawful loaning of a permit in violation of 520 ILCS 5/2.38 in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  3. conduct which is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and,

  4. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 770.

WHEREFORE, the Administrator requests that this matter be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board, that a hearing be held, and that the panel make findings of fact, conclusions of fact and law, and a recommendation for such discipline as is warranted.

Cass R. Buscher
Senior Counsel for the Administrator
One Prudential Plaza
130 East Randolph Drive, #1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Telephone: (312) 565-2600 
Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:   Cass R. Buscher