Legal Ethics

Accused of fondling clients, retired PD is disbarred by consent

A former public defender who was accused of fondling three clients has been disbarred by consent.

Illinois lawyer Lonnie Lutz was disbarred by the Illinois Supreme Court effective Jan. 17, according to the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission. The Champaign News-Gazette has a story.

Lutz retired as the Coles County public defender last June after 33 years in the job. An ethics complaint alleged that he:

• Rubbed the leg and shoulders of a client in 2010.

• Kissed and groped a client in 2012, and invited her to join him on a trip to Springfield where he said he would tie her to the bed while he attended a conference there.

• Touched a client’s thigh on two occasions in 2012 on a bench outside the courtroom.

Lutz filed a motion in November to remove his name from the attorney rolls, the Herald-Review reported at the time. Lutz’s lawyer, Rodney Smith, told the newspaper that his client had retired and it wasn’t worth the time and expense to fight the ethics charges.

“It’s not an admission at all,” Smith told the newspaper. “We still deny any and all charges.”

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