Bribery at Cal. Bar

How did the now-disgraced Thomas Girardi avoid the scrutiny of the California State Bar’s discipline folks for so long despite “over 200 misconduct complaints against Girardi dating back to at least 1984.” He handled those folks the old-fashioned way. He bribed them.

From a letter from the Bar Chair to all California attorneys:

The May report found that Girardi intentionally cultivated relationships at the State Bar and it spotlights nine individuals at all levels who accepted his largesse and failed to report it, creating conflicts of interest. The report details several instances in which the involvement in Girardi cases of conflicted individuals tainted the discretionary decisions they made on behalf of the State Bar, and as a result, the Girardi cases they worked on were improperly closed.

I would have phrased that more simply. This is corruption. An edited version of the full report, with certain portions deemed confidential blacked out, is available here.

The letter continues:

It’s important to note, however, that none of the staff whose unethical, and frankly shocking, behavior is described in the May report are still at the State Bar, and most of the concerning conduct occurred before 2018.

How about referrals to the District Attorney for prosecution? The letter doesn’t say. There could be a statute of limitations problem. The Bar is headquartered in San Francisco, and now that the City by the Bay has a District Attorney worthy of the name again, I hope she is looking into it.

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