The metro-east attorney accused by state regulators of using at least $25,000 from a disabled adult ward and two estates on himself has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to revoke his attorney's license.
John F. Pawloski's request for disbarment was included in documents filed Tuesday with the Supreme Court, which could issue a decision on the matter in November.
The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission listed civil charges of unauthorized use of the money in the documents. The charges also include accepting payment from some other clients and not delivering services, plus unauthorized practice of law during the two months last year he wasn't registered with the ARDC.
Attorneys can be disbarred in two ways, according to Jim Grogan, an ARDC spokesman: they can request it themselves, or the Supreme Court can force them out of practice.
Pawloski's request, if granted, means that the case with the ARDC will end and the charges won't be explored in court.
The documents filed Tuesday include an affidavit from Pawloski, in which he admits that, if the case were to proceed, the ARDC's evidence "would clearly and convincingly establish the facts and conclusions of misconduct" listed in the ARDC's charges.
Jim Williams, Pawloski's attorney, said Wednesday, "He's contrite about what happened, and he has agreed to repay. He has entered into repayment programs, he has volunteered to give up his license."
Williams said Pawloski plans to "do what needs to be done to make things right." He also said Pawloski likely will reapply for his license later.
Grogan said Pawloski will be eligible to try to get his license back after three years, but that it's difficult for attorneys to do so after discipline.
The ARDC's findings are separate from any other discipline Pawloski may face. The St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office is investigating, though Pawloski hasn't been charged criminally.
"Our investigation is still open," St. Clair County State's Attorney Robert Haida said Wednesday. "We're still reviewing it. There's no specific time frame on when a decision would be made."
Pawloski, when guardian and administrator for the cases in which he is accused, was acting as St. Clair County's public guardian and administrator, and he has refused to account for his use of more than $50,000 of wards' and deceased people's estate money. He has appealed a judge's demand that he do so, and that appeal is pending in the 5th District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon. No one knows how he was named public guardian. The governor makes the appointment, and a former Gov. Rod Blagojevich spokesman said that office never did appoint Pawloski. Illinois Secretary of State records also don't list Pawloski as a guardian and indicate the position was vacant at the time.
But local clerks and judges thought Pawloski was the appointee. Also, Pawloski's name was part of an online list of public guardians, put together by the Office of the State Guardian. That office doesn't appoint or oversee the county public guardians, and a representative of that office has declined to comment about how Pawloski ended up on the list, citing ongoing litigation in St. Clair County.
The position is still vacant.
Full Article and Source:
'He's Contrite About What Happened': Attorney Who Used Client's Money Will Give Up License
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John Pawloski Case