Criminal Justice

Lawyer Held in Contempt, Spends 5 Days in Jail for Lying to Court to Get Out of Speeding Ticket


An Ohio attorney paid $75 to settle a reduced headlight-violation charge last week, after being ticketed earlier this month for speeding.

Christopher Cicero said an assistant prosecutor had approved the plea deal. But that wasn’t true, and when Franklin County Municipal Judge Scott Vanderkarr found out about the lie he sent the 55-year-old lawyer to jail on Friday, reports the Columbus Dispatch. The article doesn’t explain exactly how the discrepancy in stories came to the judge’s attention.

The judge subsequently held Cicero in contempt this week and sentenced him to five days in jail, crediting him for time served. That meant Cicero was released immediately after the Tuesday court hearing, at which he pleaded no contest to the speeding ticket and was fined $150 plus $91 in court costs.

A WBNS article provides additional details.

Vanderkarr said he plans to ask the disciplinary counsel of the Ohio Supreme Court to investigate the case as a legal ethics matter and hence told the parties not to discuss it.

Cicero already is facing another legal ethics case, as detailed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post:

Criminal Defense Lawyer Whose Tip Led to OSU Football Coach’s Resignation Faces Related Ethics Case.

Updated at 11:15 a.m. to link to WBNS story.

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