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Proviso Probe

Sunday, October 02, 2005

ARDC complaint against ECW ICO Billy Welch

Below is the text of the letter from the ARDC.
We concluded our inquiry in the above matter [case No. 05 CI 4044] and have determined that there is not a sufficient basis for further action by this office.

Mr. Emmanuel [sic] C. Welch is President of the Proviso Township High Schools District 209. You allege that Mr. Emmanuel [sic] C. Welch violated our Rules of Professional Conduct when he, as a member of the school board, voted to hire his brother, Bill Welch, as a custodian at Proviso West High School (“PWHS”).

Mr. Welch pointed out that although he previously represented Bill in a criminal case, at the time he voted to hire him, Mr. Welch was not providing him with counsel on any legal matter. According to Mr. Welch, he did not participate in the application, interviewing or recommendation of Bill to the position at PWHS. However, he did vote in favor of hiring Bill, but only after receiving assurance from the Board’s attorney that there would be no conflict in doing so. We note that we do not have any evidence that Mr. Welch’s position on the board of the school district unduly influenced the vote of the other members, or that he used his position to give Bill an unfair advantage over any other candidates for the PWHS job.

For the foregoing reasons, we have determined that we would not be able to prove that Mr. Welch’s actions were contrary to our Rules of Professional Conduct. Accordingly, we are closing our file in this matter.

Very truly yours,

/s/Myrrha B. Guzman
Counsel

anny_mus is correct, this is a short term victory for Emanuel Christopher Welch.

However, there's much to criticize in the ARDC response.

Guzman's response responds to a straw man argument. She tries to make the complaint about nepotism. It wasn't. I was about Emanuel Christopher Welch having an attorney-client relationship with Billy Welch.

Welch claimed the attorney-client relationship had been terminated. I explained the attorney-client privilege exists in perpetuity and that Welch would have derived information relevant to whether to hire Billy Welch as a custodian.

The only grounds for dismissing the complaint is that the information Welch derived from representing the accused drug dealer wasn't relevant to the decision to hire him. If the ARDC wants to take that position, fine. But it doesn't get to change the substance of the complaint to an easier complaint to dismiss.

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