BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
In the Matter of:
Commission No. 2010PR00080
FILED - June 22, 2010
Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Robert J. Verrando, pursuant to Supreme Court Rules 753(b) and 761(c), complains of Respondent, Darren Joseph Malek, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on February 2, 2007, and alleges that Respondent has engaged in the following conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute:
(Leaving the scene of an accident in Kalamazoo County, Michigan)
1. On May 28, 2008, while playing golf near Portage, Michigan, Respondent consumed four beers and four shots of bourbon.
2. Respondent entered his automobile after leaving the golf course property, and entered South 11th Street in Prairie Ronde Township, Michigan, a public roadway.
3. Shortly after Respondent entered South 11th Street, his automobile struck Jared Sweet ("Sweet"), who was riding a bicycle along the road. Respondent's automobile knocked Sweet to the ground and dragged him several yards, inflicting upon him a compound bone fracture and skin abrasions.
4. After striking and dragging Sweet, Respondent's automobile left the roadway and entered an adjoining field. Respondent then reversed back onto the roadway, told a bystander that someone had been hurt "back up the road," and drove away from the scene.
5. Prior to leaving the scene of his collision with Sweet, Respondent did not identify himself or offer to render assistance to Sweet. Respondent was arrested later that day.
6. On June 27, 2008, Respondent was charged with the offense of failure to stop at the scene of an accident in violation of Section 257.617(2) of the Michigan Penal Code, a felony. The matter was docketed as People of the State of Michigan v. Darren M. Malek, case no. D08-0939 (9th Circuit Court - Kalamazoo County).
7. On September 2, 2008, Respondent pled guilty to the charge in case no. D08-0939. The Hon. Alexander C. Lipsey, a judge of the 9th Circuit Court in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, took the plea under advisement and ordered Respondent to comply with certain probationary conditions regarding alcoholism treatment over the next 11 months, and agreed, should Respondent successfully complete the probation, to enter a misdemeanor conviction of the offense of failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident, in violation of Section 257.617a of the Michigan Penal Code.
8. On August 6, 2009, Judge Lipsey found that Respondent had complied with the probationary conditions ordered in case no. D08-0939 on September 2, 2008, and entered an order finding him guilty of the offense of failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident, in violation of Section 257.617a of the Michigan Penal Code. At that time, Judge Lipsey sentenced Respondent to 30 days in jail and 12 months of probation, and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $59,519.22 to benefit Sweet.
9. On February 2, 2010, after a hearing in case no. D08-0939 regarding restitution Judge Sweeney reduced Respondent's restitution requirement to $42,523 and ordered him to pay it to the court in monthly payments of $200, beginning in March 2010.
10. By reason of the conduct outlined above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:
committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's 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;
conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5); and
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 case be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board, that a hearing be conducted, that the panel make findings of fact and conclusions of fact and law and a recommendation for such discipline as is warranted.
Robert J. Verrando