State Bar proceeds with charges against former US attorney
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon State Bar has determined there’s probable cause to bring ethics charges against a former U.S. attorney who authorities said lied about a sexual relationship with an assistant prosecutor in her office.
The agency’s disciplinary board made the decision on Saturday after reviewing the bar investigation into Amanda Marshall, who resigned in 2015 amid a federal probe, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported .
The board identified two rules Marshall might have violated, one involving criminal conduct that reflects poorly on a lawyer and the other dealing with dishonest conduct. If she’s found guilty by the panel after trial, the punishments could range from a public reprimand to suspension or disbarment.
In March 2015, the Inspector General’s Office launched an inquiry into Marshall. Federal authorities said Marshall was in a yearlong relationship with a subordinate, and she then lied to investigators and tried to block the investigation. The State Bar opened an investigation last year.
Allison Martin Rhodes, Marshall’s lawyer, said her client “has always acknowledged” that she “was not completely truthful” when she was asked about the relationship, but she was forthcoming in a later interview with authorities.
“She stands prepared to face the consequences of that statement,” Martin Rhodes said.
As federal authorities didn’t pursue criminal charges, Martin Rhodes said they’re confused by the disciplinary board’s decision to seek charges based on criminal conduct.
“It is perplexing that the authority that regulates attorney ethics appears to be substituting its judgment for that of the FBI, Department of Justice and Office of Inspector General,” Martin Rhodes. “We look forward to understanding their position and putting this unfortunate episode in the past.”
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com