|High Court Censures Local Attorney
By Ray Long of the Journal Star
SPRINGFIELD — Peoria attorney Paul
Gorman Slavens has
been censured by the Illinois Supreme Court for assisting a
disbarred former Peoria County prosecutor practice law. The high
court based its ruling on a recommendation by a hearing board of the
Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission.
Slavens, now 50, introduced Donald Bornholdt about
three years ago to an elderly Peoria man who claimed he had been
bilked by a stockbroker of several thousand dollars, court records
indicated. Even though Bornholdt was not an attorney at the time, he
said he "could handle the case," according to the elderly man.
Bornholdt had been a Peoria County assistant state's attorney in the
1960s and in private practice until be was disbarred on his own
consent in 1975 following allegations of converting funds, records
stated Slavens' censure is a public admonishment from the high
court, but it does not affect his ability to practice law. Slavens
could not be reached for comment.
The elderly man, a retired tavern owner, said he presumed Bornholdt
was a lawyer when they were introduced by Slavens in his office.
However, Slavens testified he told the elderly Peorian that
Bornholdt was not a lawyer, records showed.
The administrator of the ARDC had charged Slavens with two counts.
In the first, the administrator alleged Slavens' activities and
association with and concerning Bornholdt constituted aid to a
non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law. The hearing board
recommended the censure on this count, and the Supreme Court agreed.
In the second count, the administrator alleged the actions in the
first count and Slavens' testimony in Bornholdt's reinstatement
proceedings constituted attorney misconduct, including fraud and
dishonesty. However, the hearing panel concluded that Slavens'
inconsistent statements under oath were the result of faulty memory
rather than misconduct.
Bornholdt died in January 1987 but was trying to get his license
back. The elderly man testified he paid up $322 for work to either
Slavens or Bornholdt.
Peoria Journal Star, Fri. Dec. 9, 1988,From Sid
Eslingers Collection, donated by Steve Slaughter 2011, Transcribed
by C. Horton 2011, ©Genealogy