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

In the Matter of:

JAMES E. LEENY,

Attorney-Respondent, 

No. 6225435.

 

Commission No. 2010PR00161  

FILED -  October 28, 2010

COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Christine P. Anderson, pursuant to Supreme Court Rules 753(b) and 761, complains of Respondent, James E. Leeny, who was licensed to practice law in Illinois on November 10, 1994, 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:

COUNT I
(Criminal Conviction for Battery)

1. On July 17, 2009, Respondent engaged in a sexual act with another individual while in public at Somme Woods Forest Preserve, in Northbrook, Illinois. Officer William Ortland ("Ortland") from the Cook County Forest Preserve Police, observed Respondent and ordered him and the other individual to cease their activity and to come to his police vehicle. Instead, Respondent entered his automobile and attempted to flee the scene. Ortland ordered Respondent to stop his automobile. Respondent failed to stop and struck Ortland, causing Ortland to fall onto and roll from the hood of Respondent's automobile, resulting in an injury to Ortland's knee. Ortland subsequently drew his service revolver and ordered Respondent to stop and exit his vehicle. Respondent then stopped, was taken into custody and was charged with public indecency and aggravated battery.

2. On or about August 25, 2009, the Cook County State's Attorney filed a two-count criminal information against Respondent, charging him with two counts of aggravated battery of a police officer, both Class 2 felonies, in violation of Chapter 720, Section 5/12-4(b)(18) of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, People of the State of Illinois v. James Leeny, Case No. 09C2-20486 (Cook County Circuit Court). A copy of the information is attached as Exhibit One.

3. On or about January 2, 2010, Respondent entered into a plea agreement with the State, whereby he agreed to pled guilty to Count One of the Information to a reduced charge of misdemeanor battery, a Class A misdemeanor, in case no. 09C2-20486. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the State nolle prossed the charge of aggravated battery of a police officer, contained in Count Two of the information. On that date, the Honorable Larry Axelrood entered a judgment of conviction and sentenced Respondent to a period of twenty-four months probation, ordered that Respondent pay $560.00 in fines and perform 100 hours of community service. A copy of the order of conviction in case no. 09C2-20486 is attached as Exhibit Two.

4. By reason of the conduct outlined 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, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (1990) by committing a battery, in violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-3;

  2. conduct that is prejudicial to the administration justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (1990); and

  3. 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.

COUNT II
(Failure to Report a Criminal Conviction to the Administrator)

5. The Administrator realleges the facts set forth in Paragraphs one through four of Count One, above.

6. At all relevant times, Supreme Court Rule 761(a) provided that it is the duty of an attorney admitted in this state who is convicted in any court of a felony or misdemeanor to notify the Administrator of the conviction in writing within thirty days of the entry of the judgment of conviction.

7. A conviction for battery, in violation of Chapter 720, Section 5/12-3 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, is a conviction for a Class A misdemeanor.

8. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 761(a), Respondent was required to notify the Administrator of his conviction in case no. 09C2-20486 on or before February 6, 2010.

9. At no time did Respondent notify the Administrator of his conviction in case no. 09C2-20486, as required by Supreme Court Rule 761(a).

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

  1. failure to notify the Administrator of his conviction in violation of Supreme Court Rule 761; and

  2. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts of 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.


Christine P. Anderson
Counsel for the Administrator
130 East Randolph Drive, #1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601
312-565-2600
Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:   Christine P. Anderson