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

In the Matter of:

WILLIAM CHARLES GRACIK,

Attorney-Respondent, 

No. 6210859.

 

Commission No.    2011PR00013

 

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Lea S. Black, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 753(b), complains of Respondent, William Gracik, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on November 5, 1992, 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
(Court Supervision for DUI in Kane County, Illinois)

1. On December 23, 2007, at approximately 3:01 a.m. Respondent rear-ended another vehicle while operating his vehicle on Route 31 in West Dundee, Illinois, resulting in damage to the other vehicle and injuries to Ester Sin, Sara Barnaro, and Brandon Vito, the passengers in the other vehicle. West Dundee police officers Daniel Haines and James Breon were called to the scene of the accident, at which time the officers determined that Respondent smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet. Respondent denied consuming alcohol to the officers and was unable to produce an automobile insurance card. Based on the officers' observations, Respondent was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, and brought to the West Dundee police station.

2. Upon arrival at the West Dundee police station, Respondent refused to provide a breath sample and refused consent for drawing of a blood or urine sample. As a result of Respondent's failure to submit to testing at the time of his arrest on December 23, 2007, the Illinois Secretary of State suspended Respondent's driver's license for a period of six months, effective December 23, 2007.

3. At 4:30 a.m., West Dundee police transported Respondent to Sherman Hospital for a forced draw. At the hospital, Respondent refused to cooperate with a nurse who attempted to take his vital signs, and advised ER staff that he would not allow them to take blood or urine samples. ER staff advised Respondent that he would be restrained and catheterized to forcibly obtain blood and urine samples, at which time Respondent provided a urine sample and allowed for blood to be drawn, but informed staff that both samples were taken against his will. Respondent's blood alcohol level would later be determined to be .249 g/dL. After providing the samples, Respondent was transported back to the West Dundee police station. Respondent was charged with driving while under the influence, a Class A misdemeanor, in violation of 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2). Respondent also received citations for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and operating an uninsured vehicle.

4. On December 26, 2007, a the Kane County State's Attorney filed complaint against Respondent in the Circuit Court of Kane County relating to his conduct set forth in paragraph 2, above. The matter was docketed as People v. William C. Gracik, case number 07 DT 2073, and scheduled for hearing on February 5, 2008.

5. On February 5, 2008, Respondent pled guilty to the offense of driving while under the influence of alcohol in case number 07 DT 2073. On that date, Judge William Weir entered an order finding Respondent guilty of driving while under the influence and withheld judgment for 12 months [until January 30, 2009.] Judge Weir rescinded the statutory summary suspension and sentenced Respondent to a period of court supervision with level 3 alcohol treatment, an alcohol monitoring bracelet, fines and costs in the amount of $950, and restitution in the amount of $1,467.50.

6. In April 2010, the Administrator initiated an investigation into Respondent's conduct based upon a request for investigation from McHenry County Assistant State's Attorney Jameika Mangum ("Mangum"), regarding allegations that Respondent had physically assaulted his daughter. During the course of investigating the matters reported by Mangum, counsel for the Administrator discovered, and began investigating, the circumstances resulting in Respondent's 2008 DUI arrest and guilty plea.

7. On August 5, 2010, at the Administrator's request, Dr. Stafford Henry conducted a forensic evaluation of Respondent regarding Mangum's allegations of assault and regarding concerns about Respondent's drinking habits. As part of that investigation, Dr. Henry asked Respondent to submit to certain laboratory tests. On October 29, 2010, Dr. Henry and counsel for the Administrator met with Respondent for the purpose of discussing his laboratory results, which indicated that Respondent had recently engaged in significant drinking, and for the purpose of discussing treatment recommendations with him. Respondent appeared at the October 29, 2010 meeting with Dr. Henry and counsel for the Administrator admittedly under the influence of alcohol.

8. 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 by driving while under the influence of alcohol in violation of 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; 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
(Appearing in court on behalf of a client in an intoxicated condition)

9. On the morning of August 8, 2011, Respondent appeared in the circuit court of McHenry County on behalf of Christopher Moses ("Moses"), in relation to case number 11 CF 411, which was scheduled for a jury trial that day. On that date, Moses was in the custody of the McHenry County Jail, and he was charged with the felony offenses of receiving/possessing/ selling a stolen vehicle, theft over $500, and criminal trespass to vehicle.

10. Respondent appeared before the Honorable Sharon Prather and informed her that the parties had reached an agreement. At that time Judge Prather noticed that Respondent smelled of alcohol and was slurring his words. In light of her observations, Judge Prather took Respondent outside of the courtroom and advised him that he could not appear in her courtroom in that condition, and she refused to allow Respondent to drive himself home.

11. Judge Prather continued case number 11 CF 411 until August 9, 2011, at which time Respondent appeared and Moses pled guilty to receiving/possessing/selling a stolen vehicle as has been agreed the day before, and he was sentenced to one year probation.

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

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

  2. 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.

Lea S. Black
Counsel for the Administrator
One Prudential Plaza
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:   Lea S. Black