The Supreme Court of Ohio has permanently disbarred Anthony O. Calabrese, III of Cleveland as a result of multiple violations of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct in connection with Calabrese’s role in what the Cleveland Plain Dealer has called, “Cuyahoga County’s largest-ever corruption scandal.”
Calabrese was indicted in 2012 on twenty counts of racketeering, mail fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and bribery. He pled guilty to most of the counts, and federal judge Sarah Lioi sentenced Calabrese to nine years in prison.
After an interim felony suspension in July of 2013, the Supreme Court considered a request from the Ohio Disciplinary Counsel to permanently disbar Calabrese, the harshest penalty available to the Court, and one that it uses sparingly and only in the most egregious cases of misconduct.
In disbarring Calabrese, the Supreme Court quoted the Board of Professional Conduct’s simple summary of Calabrese’s misconduct:
It is difficult to imagine a case more disappointing and damaging to the public and to our profession. Respondent, just 41 years old, has engaged in a decade-long, deleterious, and corrupt pattern of misconduct involving the serious crimes of moral turpitude, culminating in his conviction in three separate criminal cases of 27 felony counts, the imposition of a nine year prison term, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution, fines and forfeitures.
Finding that Calabrese engaged in conduct violating his duty to maintain personal honesty and integrity, and that was harmful to the legal professional and the public, the Supreme Court stated that the “length, breadth, and seriousness” of Calabrese’s misconduct warranted permanent disbarment.