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Former Sidley Austin Partner Charged With Theft
A former partner at Sidley Austin LLP seems to have grossly screwed up, and is facing ethics charges for charging the company $69,000 for cab fare reimbursement he never actually used. The ethics charges brought by the Illinois Administrator also claim he was reimbursed for restaurant gift cards (totaling around $3,000), tickets to sporting events (totaling $35,000) and various other meals and holiday expenses that were not even for legitimate firm purposes, as was reported by the Legal Profession Blog. The former head partner in charge of the Chicago’s office real estate practice seems to have truly screwed up – but his new employer, DLA Piper, is gracious and understanding about the entire fiasco!
The man, Lee Mark Smolen, is freshly a partner at Chicago office DLA Piper, who issued a statement regarding the charges brought against him:
“The firm was aware of this matter during the hiring process,” it says, as reported by ABA Journal. “After our own due diligence and a thorough review of the facts, the firm decided to give great weight to the total body of Lee’s work over his 25-plus years as a lawyer and to extend to him the opportunity to continue his career at DLA Piper. Lee is a well-respected attorney who has learned from his experience and taken all the necessary steps to move forward as a productive member of our team.”
That statement exudes almost the tones of grace and understanding one might call a “redemption.”