Michigan Attorney Murdoch Hertzog Suspended for Offering to Settle Invoices With Sex
When I offered to report on all things Michigan, I had no idea how bad some things can get. I put out the post on Attorney General Mike Cox: Newest Michigan Politician Taking Some Heat, and I have found a site called How to Buy the Michigan Courts, which profiles money in the court systems. (Perhaps I should let them know about the influence of sex, seeing that Mike Cox, Michigan’s Attorney General may have been influenced by both in his refusal to investigate reports sent to his offices.)
But now, I have a report on an attorney suspended for 180 days for allowing clients to “work off” their bills on his “couch of restitution.” Ick! Ick, Ick, Ick, Ick 83-year old pervy guy:
“It all occurred when I wanted to get paid for my services,” he said.
But the board found “the high degree of similarity of these separate accounts established (Hertzog’s) system (of) making sexual overtures to female clients who were seeking legal assistance.”
The board, which was considering an appeal of an earlier ruling, increased Hertzog’s suspension to 180 days from the 120 days originally imposed. The heightened penalty is significant, because an attorney suspended for 180 days or more must apply to be reinstated, rather than be reinstated automatically.
One woman testified that after complying with Hertzog’s request for oral sex to pay for his services, he still sent her an invoice, after which she complained to the Attorney Grievance Commission.
Another woman testified Hertzog, who said he has a general practice, was representing her in a parental rights case in 2002 and made sexual overtures after she told him her husband was attending a class for sexual addiction.
“She testified she became nervous, stood up, and asked how much she and her husband owed,” the board said in a 15-page opinion. Hertzog “replied by telling her not to worry about his legal fees because she could pay the balance on his ‘couch of restitution.’ ”
A third woman testified Hertzog used the same name for his couch when he tried to get sex for representing her in a divorce in 1998 and 1999, the board said.
Other witnesses, including a retired judge, testified in defense of Hertzog and his character, the board said.
The board earlier “admonished” Hertzog in 1994 after finding he had suggested the exchange of sex for legal services.
The 180-day penalty also covered other misconduct by Hertzog, related to making false reports on his annual dues statements. Hertzog pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in Macomb County Circuit Court in 2001 in exchange for dismissal of a fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct count. He later had the conviction set aside, but did not report it, as required.
The Detroit News reported this one, but I am sure it can be found in other newspapers as well. I found way more sexual scandals in Michigan’s courts, because sex seems so much harder to cover up than cash. I will keep you posted, as always, but I am started to get seriously grossed out, not to mention a little disturbed at the perversion…
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