Al Garcia, the one-time city hall power broker who beat a rape allegation but was convicted on drug possession charges, has been disbarred by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The issue this time was repeatedly misappropriating his clients' money, the court said.[jump]
- Garcia was suspended in 2006 for failing to supervise a non-lawyer employee and for failing to refund the unearned portion of a client retainer.
- He was admonished in March 2006 for failing to place an advance fee into his client trust account and for failing to comply with the terms of a nonrefundable fee agreement.
- He was reprimanded in 2008 and placed on probation for two years for including unethical terms in a fee agreement, failing to promptly return a substitution of counsel form while he was suspended from the practice of law, and making an unauthorized charge to a client's credit card.
- This time around, his office played fast and loose with a $27,000 client retainer from 2007, and then he lied about it.
Garcia won't need his law license for a while anyway. He's serving a five-year-prison term, a year after a sting operation alleged that he'd been selling meth and coke for at least six years.
And while he was found not guilty of rape, his trial produced some sordid testimony. One woman said she met Garcia for dinner in 2003 after he agreed to represent her son in a federal drug case. He ordered appetizers, two rounds of drinks, drove her to his downtown office, unzipped his pants and stuck his penis in her face.