BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD

OF THE

ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION

AND

DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

PETER LAWRENCE CURRIE,

Attorney-Respondent,

No. 6281711.

Commission No. 2013PR00062

FILED --- December  26, 2013

 

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Sharon D. Opryszek, pursuant to Supreme Court Rules 753 and 761, complains of Respondent Peter Lawrence Currie, who was licensed to practice law in Illinois on May 6, 2004, and alleges that Respondent has engaged in the following conduct which subjects the Respondent to discipline pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 770:

COUNT I
(2012 Criminal Conviction-Battery)

1. On November 29, 2011, Respondent consumed some beer and at least 6 alcoholic beverages at Salerno's restaurant and McNally's Pub before proceeding to the Filling Station Pub and Grill, hereinafter the "Pub," located in St. Charles, Illinois.

2. Respondent, with Jason Nord and Matthew Dickens, ordered and received alcoholic beverages at the Pub. After received his alcoholic beverage, Respondent sat at the bar and vomited into the glass containing the beverage. Respondent left his seat at the bar and after removing his outer clothing, returned to his seat at the bar.

3. As Respondent was about to leave the Pub, Mr. Nord had a physical fight with the bartender, Brett Willing. Respondent intervened in the fight by punching Mr. Willing about the body and placing him in a chokehold. Respondent, Mr. Nord and Mr. Willing continued fighting for a short time until Respondent extricated himself. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Nord and Mr. Willing stopped fighting and separated. As Mr. Willing was lying on the floor of the Pub, Respondent approached Mr. Willing and kicked twice at the bartender's head and chest area. Mr. Willing sustained injury to his head and body.

4. Respondent and Mr. Nord left the Pub and went to the nearby Magoo's Bar, in St. Charles, Illinois. Police arrived, entered Magoo's bar and arrested Mr. Nord for the aggravated battery of Mr. Willing but were unable to locate Respondent as he had fled via the back door.

5. At all times alleged in this complaint, there was in effect a criminal statute in Illinois, 720 ILCS 5/12.3.05(a)(5), which provided that a person committed the offense of aggravated battery when he committed a battery, other than by the discharge of a firearm, and knowingly strangled another individual.

6. At all times alleged in this complaint, there was in effect a criminal statute in Illinois, Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) 720 ILCS 5/12.3.05(c), which provided that a person committed the offense of aggravated battery when he committed a battery, other than by the discharge of a firearm, on or about a public way or public place of accommodation.

7. At all times alleged in this complaint, there was in effect a criminal statute in Illinois, Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) 720 ILCS 5/12-3 which provided that a person committed the offense of battery when he knowingly and without legal justification caused bodily harm or made physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature to an individual.

8. At all times alleged in this complaint, there was in effect a criminal statute in Illinois, Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) 720 ILCS 5/25-1(a)(1), which provided that a person committed the offense of mob action when he engaged in the knowing or reckless use of force or violence disturbing the public peace by 2 or more persons who acted together and without authority of law.

9. On December 2, 2011, a warrant issued for Respondent's arrest under docket number 2011CF00002682, People of the State of Illinois v. Peter Currie for the offenses of Aggravated Battery (Strangulation) to Brett Willing in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12.3.05 (a)(5), Aggravated Battery (Public way) to Brett Willing in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(c) and Mob Action by use of force or violence disturbing the peace in violation of 720 ILCS 5/25-1(a)(1).

10. On December 5, 2011, after Respondent learned that a warrant had issued, he surrendered to the St. Charles police where he was arrested and charged with Aggravated Battery and Mob Action as referenced above in paragraph nine.

11. On January 17, 2012, a Grand Jury for the Circuit Court of Kane County, Illinois returned a four-count felony indictment against Respondent charging that Respondent committed the felony offenses of Aggravated Battery (Strangulation) to Brett Willing in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12.3.05 (a)(5), two counts of Aggravated Battery (Public way) in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(c) and Mob Action by use of force or violence disturbing the peace in violation of 720 ILCS 5/25-1(a)(1) in the matter of People of the State of Illinois vs. Peter Currie, 11 CF 2682.

12. On May 24, 2012, Respondent pled guilty to the amended misdemeanor charge of Battery, in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-3 (a)(1) in People of the State of Illinois vs. Peter Currie, 11 CF 2682. Respondent was sentenced to 18 months of conditional discharge, ordered to complete 50 hours of community service, pay fines and costs in the amount of $2,840 and obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation.

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

  1. committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, in violation of Rule 8.4(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010), by conduct including committing the criminal offense of battery in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-3 (a)(1); and

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).

COUNT II
(2006 Criminal Convictions-DUI and Possession of Cannabis Paraphernalia)

1. On June 8th, 2006, Respondent was operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on Washington Street in Naperville, Illinois. At approximately 2:01 a.m., Naperville Officer Reed performed a traffic stop of Respondent's vehicle after observing multiple traffic violations including speeding and improper land usage.

2. While questioning Respondent, Officer Reed detected a strong odor of alcohol from Respondent's breath. Respondent admitted to drinking alcohol. Respondent failed field sobriety tests and a portable breathalyzer test revealed a .105 blood alcohol level. The officer also recovered from Respondent's vehicle a small amount of cannabis contained within a small wooden box.

3. Respondent was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), in violation of 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2), the traffic violations of improper lane use, speeding and operating an uninsured vehicle and the violations of Naperville municipal ordinance for possession of cannabis in violation of 10-2-3-1 and possession of cannabis paraphernalia in violation of 10-2-3-1-2. City of Naperville v. Peter Currie, 06 DT 2652.

4. At all times alleged in this complaint, there was in effect a vehicle code statute in Illinois, Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) which provided that a person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while under the influence of alcohol.

5. At all times alleged in this complaint, there was in effect a municipal code in Naperville, Illinois, 10-2-3-1-2 which provided that it was unlawful for any person knowingly to possess cannabis paraphernalia for the use thereof.

6. On July 18, 2006 Respondent pled guilty to one count of DUI and one count of possession of cannabis paraphernalia as referenced above in paragraphs four and five, before Judge Bruce Kelsey in DuPage County Circuit Court.

7. On July 25, 2006, Respondent appeared before Judge Kelsey for sentencing on his guilty pleas to DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia in City of Naperville v. Peter Currie, 06 DT 2652. Prior to Respondent's sentencing, Judge Kelsey ordered Respondent to submit to an instanter portable breath test to determine whether the Respondent was under the influence of alcohol. Respondent's portable breathalyzer test revealed a blood alcohol level of .012.

8. On July 25, 2006, Respondent pled guilty to the charges of DUI and possession of cannabis paraphernalia and was sentenced to one year court supervision with the conditions that he complete level II counseling, pay $2550.00 in fines and fees, attend a victim impact panel and to refrain from violating any criminal statute or ordinances of any jurisdiction.

9. On March 13, 2007, Respondent appeared before Judge Kelsey for a violation of the conditions of sentencing in the matter of City of Naperville v. Peter Currie, 06 DT 2652. Respondent pled guilty to the violation received an agreed sentence of an extension of his court supervision for 3 months, attendance at a victim impact panel, completion of an additional 40 hours of public service employment and completion of level II counseling as previously ordered.

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

  1. committing criminal acts that reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (1990), by conduct including committing the criminal offenses of DUI in violation of 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) and possession of cannabis paraphernalia in violation of Naperville municipal ordinance 10-2-3-1-2.

COUNT III
(2006 Criminal Conduct- Aggravated Assault)

1. On May 21, 2006 Respondent was at the Park Chalet restaurant, hereinafter "Chalet", located in San Francisco, California. Respondent began shouting at a band which played music at the location. When Chalet employees asked Respondent to stop shouting at the band and leave the premise, Respondent began using profanity and threatened the employees.

2. Respondent refused to leave the Chalet grounds. Curtis Hefley, a bartender at Chalet, escorted Respondent from the Chalet premise. Respondent threatened to have Mr. Hefley killed and when Mr. Hefley turned to walk away, Respondent tackled Mr. Hefley to the ground. Mr. Hefley sustained injuries to his forehead, head and ribs. Respondent placed Mr. Hefley in a headlock and began punching Mr. Hefley.

3. Chalet employees, including DeeAnn Chesebro, pulled Respondent from Mr. Hefley. Respondent continued fighting and struck Ms. Chesebro in the head with his fist. The employees were able to separate Respondent and Mr. Hefley. Respondent fled the Chalet premise. Mr. Hefley was in fear of Respondent's threat.

4. San Francisco police officers arrived at the Chalet but were unable to locate Respondent. The officers left the Chalet grounds but returned shortly thereafter as Respondent returned to the premise. The officers found Respondent who smelled of alcohol and had an unsteady gait. Respondent resisted as Officers attempted to arrest and handcuff Respondent.

5. Respondent was arrested and placed into a police vehicle for transport. During the transport, Respondent continued to yell and threaten the officers saying "You two Asian female cops are gonna get it, you fucked with the wrong person!"

6. Upon arrival at the police station, Respondent began cursing and refused to exit the patrol vehicle. As the officer attempted to remove Respondent from the vehicle, Respondent charged the officer. Respondent fell to the ground and began kicking at the officer. Officers eventually escorted Respondent to the police station holding cell.

7. At all times alleged in this complaint, there was in effect a criminal statute in California, California Penal Code 245, which provided in part that any person who committed an assault upon the person of another by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding $10,000.00 or by both the fine and imprisonment. At all times alleged in this complaint, there was in effect a criminal statute in California, California Penal Code 240, which defined assault as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.

8. At all times alleged in this complaint, there was in effect a criminal statute in California, California Penal Code 422, which provided in part that any person who willfully threatened to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which , on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family's safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.

9. Respondent was released from the custody of the San Francisco police after Mr. Hefley and Ms. Chesebro withdrew their complaints.

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

a. committing criminal acts that reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (1990), by committing conduct including the criminal offenses of aggravated assault in violation of California Penal Code 245 (a) and criminal threat with intent to terrorize in violation of California Penal Code 422.

WHEREFORE, the Administrator requests that this matter be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board, that a hearing be held pursuant to Supreme Court Rules 753 and 761, and that the panel make findings of fact, conclusions of fact and law, and a recommendation for such discipline as is warranted.

Sharon D. Opryszek
Counsel for the Administrator
130 East Randolph Drive, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601-6219
Telephone: (312) 565-2600

Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:  Sharon D. Opryszek