Court extends attorneys' suspensions
Two justices were concerned about how the men would be able to pay support.
By MICHELE C. HLADIK
COLUMBUS -- Failing to resolve child support enforcement issues has led two area attorneys to receive an additional suspension to their already suspended Ohio law licenses.
The Ohio Supreme Court decided in a 5-2 vote to suspend Charles Curry of Youngstown for an additional year for failing to comply with a child support order and for failing to reply to the disciplinary complaint filed against him.
An interim suspension was issued in November 2004 when the Mahoning County Child Support Enforcement Agency notified the high court that Curry, reportedly now living in Maryland, was default in his child support payments in the amount of 33,337.
A second interim suspension was reportedly issued in July 2005 when the agency reported he was in arrears for 55,447.
Reinstatement of Curry's license after the suspension is conditional based on his compliance with the requirements imposed in the interim suspension order.
Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton disagreed with the majority and said she would have simply left the interim suspension in place until he complied with his child support orders.
"As soon as [Curry] becomes current on his arrearage and current on his child-support obligations, I would allow him to provide proof of doing so and permit him to apply to be reinstated on the condition that he proves compliance with all the requirements imposed in this court's interim suspension order," she wrote.
"In so doing, [Curry] would be able to more quickly return to the practice of law and be able to earn a living and better provide for his children."
The high court also added a year to Thomas Geer's suspension. Geer, formerly of Columbus, is reportedly living in New Castle, Pa.
He was originally charged in 2005 with two counts of professional misconduct for failing to comply with a child support order and for failing to cooperate with the investigation into the matter.
His interim suspension began in January this year.
Geer's child support arrearage was reportedly set at 396,959 by the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Justices Stratton and Judith Ann Lanzinger also dissented in the Geer decision over concern the high court's action would reduce his ability to earn a living and support the children in the long term.