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Legal Ethics

Paris Hilton Prosecutor on Hot Seat Now

Posted Jun 25, 2007 4:06 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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It isn't just Paris Hilton who's recently learned that the media spotlight can cast an unwelcome light on personal failings. Now the prosecutor in her case is taking his turn in the unpleasant glare.

Rocky Delgadillo was tough on crime when he was attacking the two-tiered justice system that allegedly gave the hotel heiress an easy ride for too long on repeated violations of her probation in an alcohol-related driving case. But it turns out the Los Angeles city attorney has turned a blind eye to similar issues within his own family, reports AP.

It turned out that Delgadillo's own wife apparently had been driving on a suspended license--which, just like Hilton, she claimed to be unaware of (although, unlike Hilton, she was not accused of drunk driving). And--oops!--it turned out Michelle Delgadillo had also had an accident in her husband's city-owned vehicle several years ago, which was repaired at taxpayer expense until last week, when the prosecutor footed the bill. And then there was the outstanding arrest warrant against Michelle Delgadillo, for offenses dating to 1998, including driving without insurance. It was resolved last week, too, by her misdemeanor plea, the article says.

And that wasn't all--Delagadillo's wife allegedly didn't pay taxes or get a city license for a business she operated. Meanwhile, it appears that he, too, drove without insurance for a while. And then there were the personal errands and babysitting done by members of his staff, during what he says were lunch breaks and the like.

Although both Delgadillos have admitted error and apologized, the California bar has now reportedly opened an ethics investigation against the city's top prosecutor. “He was living in somewhat of a glass house,” Raphael Sonenshein, a political science professor at California State University at Fullerton, tells AP.

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