Prosecutors in Chandra Levy case fight six-month sanction bid by ethics enforcers

Prosecutors in Chandra Levy case fight six-month sanction bid by ethics enforcers

(Reuters) – Two former federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., are contesting a disciplinary workplace’s transfer to droop their legislation licenses for six months following a preliminary discovering {of professional} misconduct in the Chandra Levy homicide case.

Fernando Campoamor-Sánchez, now a lawyer on the U.S. Securities and Trade Fee, and Amanda Haines, who not too long ago retired from the observe of legislation, contend in new and beforehand unreported ethics filings that they adhered to their skilled obligations in the prosecution of a person charged in Levy’s 2001 demise.

The D.C. bar disciplinary workplace mentioned in an Oct. 29 filing {that a} suspension of a minimum of six months for failure to reveal sure proof in the Levy homicide case would function a “powerful deterrent” in opposition to misconduct. Legal professionals for Campoamor-Sánchez and Haines deny they violated ethics guidelines they usually’ve urged the listening to committee to stroll away from its nonbinding preliminary discovering.

The investigation of Levy’s demise gripped Washington amid revelations that California Democratic congressman Gary Condit was having an affair with Levy, an intern on the federal prisons bureau. The authorities cleared Condit and finally centered on a person named Ingmar Guandique, who was charged in 2009 whereas jailed for assaults on different girls in the park the place police discovered Levy’s physique.

Guandique was convicted at trial, however the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace subsequently dropped the fees amid claims prosecutors withheld proof that protection legal professionals may have used to assault the credibility of a key informant. No different individual has been charged.

A two-year ethics investigation by the U.S. Justice Division Workplace of Skilled Duty (OPR) in 2018 didn’t maintain ethics violations in opposition to Haines and Campoamor-Sánchez.

However a listening to committee of the D.C. Board on Skilled Duty in August introduced its preliminary conclusion that Haines and Campoamor-Sánchez violated a D.C. bar rule regarding the duty of prosecutors to show over exculpatory proof to protection legal professionals.

An legal professional for Haines, Justin Dillon of the boutique KaiserDillon, informed Reuters “the best word I can use to describe disciplinary counsel’s request for a six-month suspension is unhinged — from both reality and from any precedent in law or logic.”

Campoamor-Sánchez’s lawyer, Mark Lynch of Covington & Burling, declined to remark. He mentioned in a filing for Campoamor-Sánchez that the allegations have “personally devastated him, and has caused much difficulty for both himself and his family.”

D.C. bar disciplinary counsel Hamilton Fox III mentioned in his sanctions transient that “prosecutors, like every other lawyer, should put their licenses on the line when they engage in dubious conduct.”

He informed Reuters that “the prevention of a violation is easy — just disclose. A significant sanction should deter future violations.”

The instances are Within the Matter of Amanda Haines, D.C. Board on Skilled Duty, No. 2016-D261; and Within the Matter of Fernando Campoamor-Sánchez, BPR, No. 2016-D262.

For D.C. Workplace of Disciplinary Counsel: Hamilton Fox III

For Haines: Justin Dillon and Sarah Fink of KaiserDillon

For Campoamor-Sánchez: Mark Lynch of Covington & Burling

Learn extra:

Veteran AUSA reprimanded in uncommon sanction over trial conduct

Sanction flexibility in legal professional self-discipline instances authorised by D.C. court docket

U.S. Justice Dept backs prosecutors accused of ethics breach

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