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Ethics hearing set for attorney

An Ironton attorney accused of ethics violations is scheduled to appear before a disciplinary board next week.

Carol Jean Hampton is expected to face a three-member panel of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline in regard to allegations outlined in a 29-page complaint filed in April 2013.

The document, filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of Ohio, outlines nine separate complaints from former clients and others who allege they were taken advantage of by the attorney.

Hampton, who has been an attorney for more than 40 years, denied the allegations of misconduct in a 35-page response.

The hearing is scheduled for May 6 at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center in Columbus.

Joseph Caligiuri, chief assistant with the disciplinary council, said the hearing is structured like a trial. The council will present witnesses under direct examination. Hampton’s attorney, Ken Donchatz, will have the opportunity to cross-examine those witnesses and call other witnesses. Then both sides will have closing arguments.

The three-member panel will then make a recommendation to the full 28-member board of whether an ethics violation has occurred and the appropriate sanction.

If the full board agrees with the panel, the board makes a recommendation to the Supreme Court for an appropriate sanction.

Once the case is filed with the clerk of the Supreme Court, parties may file objections to the board’s report and have an oral argument. The high court will have the final decision.

Counts in the complaint involve former clients of Hampton who hired the woman to handle their child support, probate, Social Security or bankruptcy cases, as well as someone who claimed Hampton tried to take her home as collateral. Another complainant claimed Hampton took her retirement funds without permission.

The complainants are Rebecca Jenkins, Shari Hunter, Dorothy Perry, Elizabeth Royal, Shirley Mae Lykins, Bobby Allen and Gloria Jean Jeffers, Bobby and Amy Murrell, Mylinda Malone and Tina White.

To view the complaint in its entirety, go to http://tinyurl.com/pbld5rz

To read Hampton’s response, go to: http://tinyurl.com/no7pg4l