Lawyer and police misconduct update

Lexington attorney Richard Breibart has been indicted in federal court on multiple wire fraud and extortion charges.  The closing of Breibart’s office resulted in a large number of clients who were left without counsel, as well as many who were left without any means of compensation – although the S.C. Bar has a fund set up to compensate victims in cases like this, it is capped at $200,000 for any one attorney, and the losses from Breibart’s firm are anticipated to exceed that amount.

The Camden city attorney was charged with misconduct in office for allegedly dismissing cases in exchange for donations to the city’s “anti-drug fund.”

A Pickens police officer was fired after posting the details surrounding a ticket he wrote to Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney on an online forum.

Spartanburg County Sheriff’s deputy Eric Boutin shot and killed a 35 lb dog, Diamond, that was tethered and unable to reach him, as he attempted to serve a warrant at the wrong house.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright has expressed remorse over the incident, but states that Deputy Boutin will not be punished for the shooting of Diamond. Wright justified the shooting by saying that there was a chance the tether could have slipped off which would have resulted in Boutin being bitten.

Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach resigned from office last week amid allegations that at least one chemist had mishandled drugs and manufactured evidence:

Authorities have not released specific details about what chemist Annie Dookhan allegedly did.

But in a letter sent last week to defense attorneys around the state, Max Stern, the president of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said he was told in a meeting with Patrick and other administration officials that the chemist is accused of deliberately tampering with some drug samples, including the weight of the samples, which can affect the length of prison sentences given to people convicted of drug offenses.

“Apparently, the lab analyst in question had unsupervised access to the drug safe and evidence room, and tampered with evidence bags, altered the actual weight of the drugs, did not calibrate machines correctly, and altered samples so that they would test as drugs when they were not,” Stern said in the letter.


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