Former Rock Island County States Attorney Jeff Terronez may get to keep his license to practice law, after he serves a two year suspension.
That’s the recommendation from the hearing board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission Friday, August 17, 2012.
In its opinion, the review panel mentions the alcohol deliveries made by Terronez to two teenaged girls, viewed the racy text messages, and acknowledged the moral mistakes that cost him his political career.
But ruled that ”we believe his expressions of remorse, his acknowledgement of mistakes and the public humiliation he suffered as a result of his actions will keep him from straying from the path of propriety in the future”.
The board also said it agreed with Circuit Court Judge Walter Braud, a witness in his defense during last April’s hearing, writing in its brief that ”Respondents rapid rise to a postion of power at a fairly young age most likely played a role in his reckless decisions.”
Read the full recommendation report: ARDC Recommendation concerning Jeff Terronez
However, the ARDC says it will appeal the board’s decision, saying it still believes Terronez’s license should be taken away. He is currently under an interim suspension.
Terronez resigned as top prosecutor in April 2011, after pleading guilty to supplying alcohol to a victim in a sex abuse case he prosecuted.
The board heard testimony in April of this year, and concluded today that Terronez’s actions were serious, but not grounds for disbarment.
The administrator for the ARDC argued at the April hearing otherwise.
The hearing board is recommending that Terronez be suspended for two years, retroactive to October of last year, which means he would get his law license back in 14 months.
The Illinois Supreme Court will have the final say. That ruling expected in the next few months.