Suspended Butler County lawyer ordered to community service for theft charge
HAMILTON, Ohio (WXIX) - A veteran Hamilton attorney who also worked for more than a decade as a part-time Butler County public defender received his punishment Wednesday.
Dennis Adams, 52, of Fairfield Township, was ordered to five years of community control, must maintain full-time employment, serve 500 hours of community service, take a mental health assessment and pay court costs.
Adams previously admitted to stealing thousands from a client for his personal benefit when he pleaded guilty to theft by deception.
In exchange for his guilty plea, Butler County prosecutors dropped the two other felony charges against him, grand theft and receiving stolen property.
He was facing up to a year in prison.
Adams also must pay $12,492 in restitution to former client Teresa McAdams, who retained him in a personal injury case.
The criminal charges are not related to his criminal cases as a public defender, Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser told FOX19 NOW earlier this year.
Adams quit working for the county public defender’s office in January after working there since May 2011.
Still, a visiting judge is handling his criminal case, Dennis Langer.
Last fall, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended Adams from practicing law after he failed to respond to allegations in a complaint his clients filed against him with the Board of Professional Conduct, state court records show.
In January, a judge ordered Adams to pay his former client $272,284 after he failed to respond to their complaint and appear in court.
The board has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to disbar Adams because he failed to respond to the allegations. He received his law license in 1997.
Adams “misappropriated at least $26,000 belonging to three clients while neglecting to carry through to conclusion the legal work he contracted to handle on their behalf, and by failing to carry out his commitments to pay liens against their settlement moneys, thus causing them further harm,” the board wrote.
Adams could not be reached for comment.
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