Carmel lawyer suspended, ordered to JLAP monitoring following OWIs

A Carmel lawyer who recently pleaded guilty to multiple drunken driving offenses has been suspended from the practice of law in Indiana and ordered to monitoring under the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program.

Following three instances of operating a vehicle while intoxicated over a span of several months in 2020, Gene A. Wheeler pleaded guilty in January to three counts of Level 6 felony OWI. Wheeler has two prior OWI convictions, including one that predates his admission to the Indiana bar.

Wheeler has been under an interim suspension related to his OWI convictions since March 18. In an Oct. 22 order, the Indiana Supreme Court accepted the parties’ agreed discipline of a 180-day suspension for a violation of Indiana Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(b).

Wheeler will serve 120 days of his suspension, while the remaining 60 days will be stayed subject to the completion of two years of JLAP monitoring. The terms of Wheeler’s probation include:

  • If Wheeler violates his probation or the terms of his JLAP monitoring agreement during the 120-day actively served portion of his suspension, the suspension will be served without automatic reinstatement.
  • If Wheeler violates his probation or monitoring agreement after he has been automatically reinstated following the 120 days, the remaining 60 days will be actively served without automatic reinstatement.

Wheeler’s probation will remain in effect until it is terminated pursuant to a petition under Admission and Discipline Rule 23(16).

The costs of the proceeding are assessed against Wheeler, who must pay $263.80 to the clerk of the Indiana Supreme Court. The clerk will then disburse $13.80 to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission for investigative expenses and $250 to the clerk for court costs. Hearing officer expenses will be submitted separately.

The case is In the Matter of: Gene A. Wheeler, 21S-DI-81.

Wheeler was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1999 and has no other disciplinary history, according to the Indiana Roll of Attorneys.

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