Senator Jeff Piccola, Esquire Stands for Public Reprimand…Kind Of
As originally posted on Roxbury News:
Today, November 16, 2012, Senator Jeff Piccola stood before the three member Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of PA to receive his Public Reprimand for what the Board called his “professional mistake.”
In June, a “Petition for Discipline” was filed against Piccola by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel charging him with with “professional misconduct in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct.” The charges stemmed from his relationship with a Utah based “heir-hunting” firm, Kemp & Associates, and claims of conflicts of interest. The alleged misconduct complaint cited violation of 14 Rules of Professional Conduct including those involving misrepresentations of rate fees, conflicts of interest, soliciting clients, and deceit.
Piccola had strongly denied all charges, and right before an October hearing on the matter, the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court and the retiring State Senator reached an agreement—Piccola admitted to mistakes he made while practicing law in his private practice and agreed to take a reprimand, thereby ending the fourteen charges of professional misconduct filed against him. In a subsequent letter to fellow legislators, Piccola proclaimed his wrongdoing was merely a mistake of “misreading the rules.”
During today’s ten minute Public Reprimand, Board members commended Piccola for his service and cited his forty years of practicing law with no other professional mark against him. “You have devoted your career to public service,” he was told and was thanked for his cooperation in this matter.
On his part, Piccola stood at the lectern, hands folded, and made no statement or apology. Rather he merely thanked the Board members for their comments.
by Tara Leo Auchey