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In re Brejensky

Supreme Court of Indiana

July 2, 2014

IN THE MATTER OF: STEVE L. BREJENSKY, Respondent

Attorney Discipline Action Hearing Officer Gary L. Miller.

Steve L. Brejensky, RESPONDENT, Pro se.

ATTORNEYS FOR THE INDIANA SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION: G. Michael Witte, Executive Secretary, David E. Griffith, Staff Attorney Indianapolis, Indiana.

OPINION

Page 915

Per Curiam.

We find that Respondent, Steve L. Brejensky, engaged in attorney misconduct by committing a crime reflecting adversely on Respondent's honesty and failing to report his conviction to the Commission. For this misconduct, we conclude that Respondent should be suspended from the practice of law in this state for at least one year without automatic reinstatement.

This matter is before the Court on the report of the hearing officer appointed by this Court to hear evidence on the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission's " Verified Complaint for Disciplinary Action." Respondent's 1988 admission to this state's bar subjects him to this Court's disciplinary jurisdiction. See Ind. Const. art. 7, § 4.

Background

Procedural background. The Commission filed a " Verified Complaint for Disciplinary Action" against Respondent on May 22, 2012. Respondent filed an answer that was late and not in proper form. Respondent failed to respond to the Commission's requests for admission. The hearing officer therefore granted an application by the Commission for judgment on its complaint. See Admis. Disc. R. 23(14)(c).

The hearing officer filed his report on April 11, 2014. Neither party filed a petition for review of the hearing officer's report (although the Commission filed a brief on sanctions). When neither party challenges the findings of the hearing officer, " we accept and adopt those findings but reserve final judgment as to misconduct and sanction." Matter of Levy, 726 N.E.2d 1257, 1258 (Ind. 2000).

The hearing officer's findings of fact. Following a bench trial on October 21, 2011, Respondent was convicted of Conversion, a class A misdemeanor. Respondent has never appealed or otherwise challenged his conviction. He did not send a copy of the finding of guilt to the Commission.

The hearing officer found no facts in mitigation. The hearing officer found the following facts in aggravation: (1) Respondent has failed to keep current his address on the Indiana Roll of Attorneys, evidenced by the Postal Service's return of multiple mailings sent to him during this proceeding; (2) Respondent filed an answer

Page 916

to the Commission's complaint only after the hearing officer ordered him to do so, and it did not comply with the requirements of Admis. Disc. R. 23(14)(b); (3) Respondent failed to comply with filing deadlines, even when granted extensions of time; and (4) the contents of Respondent's answer show a ...


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