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Proviso Probe

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Nyberg files ethics complaint against Welch

How do you file an ethics complaint against a lawyer in Illinois?

Contact the good folks at Attorney Registration & Discipline Commission.

Below is the text of my complaint. It's continued in the comments.
On August 22, 2005, Emanuel “Chris” Welch voted to employee his client and brother, Billy W. Welch as a custodian at Proviso Township High Schools. The motion passed 4-3. If Welch had abstained the motion would have failed.
On September 3, 2003, Billy W. Welch was arrested, charged and subsequently indicted for possession of 240 grams of crack cocaine with intent to deliver (case # 03CR2123202). Emanuel C. Welch of James J. Roche and Assoc. served as Billy Welch’s attorney.
For Chris Welch to vote on a motion on whether to hire his client seems a conflict of interest. As Billy Welch’s attorney Chris Welch has an obligation to advocate for Billy Welch. As president of the District 209 Board of education Chris Welch has an obligation to the Proviso High Schools and Proviso taxpayers. These disparate interests would seem likely to conflict in this case.
Chris Welch’s behavior would seem to violate at least two sections of Rules Governing the Legal Profession and Judiciary in Illinois: 1.7(a)(2) & 8.4(b)(1).

More in the comments.

4 Comments:

  • Chris Welch violated section 1.7(a)(2) by not disclosing to District 209 his lawyer-client relationship with Billy Welch. While Chris Welch will argue that District 209 and Billy Welch had harmonious interests in hiring Billy Welch, an objective party could reasonably question this claim.

    Welch may also claim that his conduct as president of the school board is outside his responsibilities as an attorney and therefore exempt from consideration under legal ethics. This position is undermined by Welch often publicly using his identity as an attorney to bolster his positions on matters pertaining to District 209.

    For example, in the Forest Park Review (dated August 24, 2005) Welch signed a letter (scroll down, it's the second letter) “Chris Welch, D209 Board of Education President”. His second paragraph begins, “As one of seven members elected to the District 209 School Board, and as a practicing attorney who represents school districts, I have the highest respect for the rule of law….” Hopefully, the ARDC will not allow Welch to publicly represent himself as an attorney while shirking the responsibility when it suits him.

    Section 8.4(b)(1) is specific to public officials. Welch clearly used his public office to help his client. Welch may argue that hiring Billy Welch was in the public interest. However, Billy Welch has a long history of behavior that would seem inappropriate for working at a high school. Billy Welch has been arrested for attempted first degree murder with a firearm, battery and possession with intent to deliver. If Chris Welch didn’t consider his client’s past disqualifying from working in a high school, the matters should have been fully disclosed to the board. Absent even a partial disclosure of Billy Welch’s adverse past, one can infer Chris Welch knew hiring Billy Welch was not in the public interest.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 8:13 PM, August 25, 2005  

  • I would encourage you to investigate further the nefarious relationship between Gene Moore and both Chris Welch and Sue Henry. Ms. Henry was hired by Moore at 82,000 per year to work in the Recorder of Deeds office. Reportedly she was recently taken, along with 3 other staff members to Hawaii (according to the Tribune, of the 50,000 plus spent by Cook County officials for 25 people who went, 5 and $12,000, including hotel room rates of over $230 dollars a night in off season, were from the staff and budget of the miniscule Recorder of Deeds office. A further avenue of study would be to ascertain if the program included many (ANY?) seminars that led directly (even ijndirectly?) to improving the functions of the Recorder of Deeds office? I personally, as a Maywood elected official have gone to many National League of City Conferences which are overwhelmingly for elected city officials and the hundreds of program offerings and displays amply reveal that. I have probably NEVER paid more than $109 a night for a downtown hotel. Almost immediately upon return Board members Sue Henry and Chris Welch each voted for their relatives and voted Gene Moore, no other proposals submitted, for $150,000 as their unneeded insurance broker. Of course the two also received over $7,000 for their campaign expenses. (All dollar figures are rounded off to the nearest $1,000)

    By Anonymous Gary Woll, at 3:07 PM, September 02, 2005  

  • Thanks Gary. That is why I always vote for you. You make me proud to live in Maywood.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:23 AM, September 29, 2005  

  • I can certainly appreciate the information that is being shared here. It affords many the opportunity to study the issues during election times in our communities and to determine who has our best interest at heart. Dr. Martin Luther King, Medgar Evans, and many many others fought and died for our right to vote. They also died for us to vote for the candidate who will be the best man or woman for the job. With the primary elections approaching, I would like to have the candidates discuss the issues at large and have an opportunity to defend themselves and their policy beliefs and how they will better the community if elected. However once the person is elected accountability of making certain that all of the concerns are being addressed is key. I am following the outline of the "The Covenant" (which I support 110%) that Tavis Smiley has written/published and have the support of leaders, such as Harry Belafonte, Dr. Cornel West, and others. A discussion with such candicates involved in the upcoming election is most needed. This event will allow myself and others to make an informed voting decision.

    By Anonymous Letitia Barnett - Maywood, Illinois, at 12:50 PM, February 28, 2006  

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