Custom Search

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nick Mackey Loses Law License Due To Corruption & Lies

PDF Document: NC Bar's Ruling On Rep. Nick Mackey

N.C. State Bar Suspends Rep. Nick Mackey's Law License

The North Carolina State Bar on Monday suspended state Rep. Nick Mackey's law license in a case the bar described as involving "acts of dishonesty," "a pattern of misconduct" and circumstances reflecting Mackey's "lack of honesty, trustworthiness, or integrity."

Nick Mackey, a Democrat whose district covers parts of north central and eastern Mecklenburg County, will lose his license for three years, though he can petition to get it back under certain conditions after one year.

The suspension was part of a consent order filed Monday to which Mackey agreed.

The case, which included his failure to disclose information on both unpaid taxes and a misconduct investigation, had been scheduled for a hearing Thursday and Friday.

"I'm happy that this matter has been resolved," Mackey said Monday. "I'm disappointed with the outcome, but I accept it. I'll use this as an opportunity to put any past mistakes behind me and continue to faithfully serve the people of North Carolina and represent their best interests."

His opponent in tomorrow's Democratic primary, Rodney Moore, said the State Bar's punishment was sad news for the district.

"Hopefully we can make a change tomorrow at the polls and move forward," Moore said. "I don't wish that on anybody, but you have to take care of the people's business first."

Rep. Beverly Earle, a fellow Democrat who accused Mackey of recruiting Earle's primary opponent, said voters should take the Bar's discipline into account, and she expects a complaint will be filed with the Legislative Ethics Committee based on the order. She was uncertain what effect the suspension might have on the vote.

"Turnout is low in a primary and it depends how many people look at TV tonight or how many people read the paper," Earle said. "Many people don't even know it's an election tomorrow."

Earle has accused Mackey of encouraging three friends or former colleagues to run against her, Rep. Becky Carney and Sen. Malcolm Graham, all Charlotte Democrats, in the primary. The three lawmakers did not support Mackey when he successfully challenged then-Rep. Drew Saunders in the 2008 Democratic primary.

"I support my colleagues," Earle said of Tuesday's primary, before amending the comment. "I support most of my colleagues."

Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Democratic Party Chairman Joel Ford said the suspension could have an impact on the race: "Possibly, if you look at the timing of the release of this information."

State Bar officials said the timing of the consent order was typical for any disciplinary case. If lawyers reach a settlement agreement with the Bar, they typically do so in the two or three weeks leading up to the scheduled hearing, said Katherine Jean, the Bar's general counsel.

She said discussions with Mackey's lawyer began about three weeks ago and a consent order was worked out and sent to the hearing panel of the Disciplinary Hearing Commission.

The hearing panel is essentially the trial court in such cases, while the Bar serves as the prosecutor. The hearing panel agreed to the order and mailed it to the clerk of the commission on Friday. The clerk received it Monday and filed it.

Jean said Mackey did not ask to delay filing the order until after the election.

"I don't think the Bar would have objected if he had," Jean said.

Mackey, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer at the time, failed to disclose information in his 2002 application to take the state bar exam, including that he had failed to pay taxes during several years and that he was under investigation for misconduct by the police department.

The application asks if he had ever failed to pay income taxes. Mackey answered 'no,' even though he had failed to fully pay federal taxes for 1997, 1999 and 2002.

Another question asks whether a complaint was ever filed against him in an "administrative forum alleging fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, forgery or professional malpractice." Mackey did not disclose that he was under investigation at the time over misconduct at an off duty security job in December 1991.

The application requires -- and applicants write this provision by hand on the application -- that if the answers to the questions change, the applicant must provide updated information.

Mackey did not disclose that he was suspended without pay from the police department and was recommended for firing for being untruthful to a department review board. That happened during the time between filing his application in February 2002 and being admitted to the Bar in August 2003. He resigned from the police department before the case went further.

He also did not file federal tax returns for 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, according to the consent order. He did not owe any taxes during those years and received a refund, the order said.

In 2006, Mackey failed to properly handle an adoption case for a client, missing a deadline that prevented the adoption from going through, the order said.

UNC Charlotte political Analyst Ted Arrington said Mackey may believe the suspension decision won't matter tomorrow.

"Unless the opponent is in a position to capitalize on it," Arrington said, "they're still going to go (to the polls) and there's only one name on the ballot they recognize and that's Nick Mackey."

View Larger Map

Sources: McClatchy Newspapers, N.C. State Bar, WCNC, Youtube, Google Maps

No comments: