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LaPorte County prosecutor suspended by Supreme Court

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LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob “Z” Szilagyi has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court for forging the names of his ex-wife and secretary on a quitclaim deed on the former couple’s marital home.

The June 20 order says that Szilagyi, who became the prosecuting attorney in December 2010, sought to refinance the home, which he was awarded in his 2009 divorce. After the divorce, his ex-wife had her name restored to her name prior to the marriage. Szilagyi’s secretary prepared a quitclaim deed for the ex-wife to sign using her restored name instead of the married name as was on the title. The ex-wife signed it without it being notarized.

The day of closing, Szilagyi saw his ex-wife had signed her restored name, so he asked his secretary to prepare a new deed. He then signed without their knowledge his ex-wife’s married name and his secretary’s name as the notary, using her notary stamp. His secretary was investigated by the Indiana secretary of state as a result of the notarization.

According to the order, Szilagyi forged the signatures to avoid “an unpleasant conversation” with his former wife explaining that he needed her help. The parties also cited that Szilagyi – who has been practicing for more than 30 years – should have known how his actions can impugn the reputation of lawyers and the legal community.

The justices found Szilagyi violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(c), engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; and 8.4(d), engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

Szilagyi has no disciplinary history and is remorseful and accepted responsibility for his conduct.

The justices imposed a 60-day suspension, which begins Aug. 1, with automatic reinstatement. Costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.

Before becoming prosecutor, Szilagyi had a private practice in LaPorte County and also served as eight years as city attorney for LaPorte.
 

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  1. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  2. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  3. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

  4. I am one of Steele's victims and was taken for $6,000. I want my money back due to him doing nothing for me. I filed for divorce after a 16 year marriage and lost everything. My kids, my home, cars, money, pension. Every attorney I have talked to is not willing to help me. What can I do? I was told i can file a civil suit but you have to have all of Steelers info that I don't have. Of someone can please help me or tell me what info I need would be great.

  5. It would appear that news breaking on Drudge from the Hoosier state (link below) ties back to this Hoosier story from the beginning of the recent police disrespect period .... MCBA president Cassandra Bentley McNair issued the statement on behalf of the association Dec. 1. The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. “The MCBA does not believe this was a just outcome to this process, and is disheartened that the system we as lawyers are intended to uphold failed the African-American community in such a way,” the association stated. “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/07/18/hate-cops-sign-prompts-controversy/87242664/

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