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Justices reprimand 2 former deputy prosecutors

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Two former Marion County deputy prosecutors have received public reprimands from the state’s highest court for drunken driving incidents.

The Indiana Supreme Court issued orders May 20 publicly reprimanding both Brooke N. Russell and Gillian S. DePrez, who had worked in the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office until their resignations following drunken driving charges.

Russell pleaded guilty last year to Class A misdemeanor of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent or more, then enrolled and completed a 12-hour alcohol education program. She was admitted to the bar in October 2007 and left the prosecutor’s office in January 2009. Russell is now working as a criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis.

This was Russell’s only disciplinary history and the public reprimand goes in her file for violating Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b), which prohibits attorneys from committing criminal acts that reflect adversely on the attorney’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer. She must also pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

DePrez, who began practicing in May 2007 and worked in the prosecutor’s office sex crimes division, was arrested in July 2009 for drunk driving in Broad Ripple. She faced charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident, but a special prosecutor from Monroe County allowed her to plead guilty and avoid that drunken driving conviction. She pleaded guilty in November to reckless driving, and received 24 hours of community service and 90 days on nonreporting probation.

Spokeswoman Susan Decker with the prosecutor’s office wasn’t sure what DePrez has been doing since, but said she is being re-hired for the same position she held before the drunken driving incident. DePrez restarts in the sex crimes unit June 7, despite the public reprimand from the Indiana Supreme Court on Rule 8.4(b) and an order to pay for costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

These aren’t the only drunken driving incidents the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has faced recently. The most recent is spokesman and general counsel Mario V. Massillamany, who resigned in March after his arrest on a drunken driving charge in Hamilton County. His driving privileges have been suspended and he faces one Class A misdemeanor charge of operating while intoxicated in Hamilton Superior 6; a bench trial is set for July 2. The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission has not yet filed any disciplinary actions against Massillamany, according to the online appellate docket.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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