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Board of Professional Responsibility v. Krone

Supreme Court of Wyoming

May 31, 2018

BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, WYOMING STATE BAR, Petitioner,
v.
SAMUEL P. KRONE, WSB # 6-3534, Respondent.

          ORDER OF DISBARMENT

          E. JAMES BURKE CHIEF JUSTICE

         [¶1] This matter came before the Court upon a "Report and Recommendation for Order of Disbarment, " filed herein May 18, 2018, by the Board of Professional Responsibility for the Wyoming State Bar, pursuant to Rule 12 of the Wyoming Rules of Disciplinary Procedure (stipulated discipline). The Court, after a careful review of the Board of Professional Responsibility's Report and Recommendation and the file, finds that the Report and Recommendation should be approved, confirmed, and adopted by the Court, and that Respondent, Samuel P. Krone, should be disbarred. It is, therefore, [¶2] adjudged and ordered that the Board of Professional Responsibility's "Report and Recommendation for Order of Disbarment, " which is attached hereto and incorporated herein, shall be, and the same hereby is, approved, confirmed, and adopted by this Court; and it is further

         [¶3] adjudged and ordered that, as a result of the conduct set forth in the Report and Recommendation for Order of Disbarment, Respondent, Samuel P. Krone, shall be, and hereby is, disbarred; and it is further

         [¶4] ordered that, for purposes of reinstatement, the disbarment is considered effective August 24, 2016, the day this Court entered its "Order of Immediate Suspension" concerning Respondent; and it is further

          [¶5] ORDERED that the Wyoming State Bar may issue a press release consistent with the one set out in the Report and Recommendation for Disbarment; and it is further

         [¶6] ORDERED that Respondent shall comply with the requirements of the Wyoming Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, particularly the requirements found in Rule 21 of those rules. That rule governs the duties of disbarred and suspended attorneys; and it is further

         [¶7] ORDERED that, pursuant to Rule 25 of the Wyoming Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, Mr. Krone shall reimburse the Wyoming State Bar the amount of $50.00, representing the costs incurred in handling this matter, as well as pay the administrative fee of $750.00. Mr. Krone shall pay the total amount of $800.00 to the Wyoming State Bar on or before July 31, 2018; and it is further

         [¶8] ORDERED that the Clerk of this Court shall docket this Order of Disbarment, along with the incorporated Report and Recommendation for Order of Disbarment, as a matter coming regularly before this Court as a public record; and it is further

         [¶9] ORDERED that, pursuant to Rule 9(b) of the Wyoming Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, this Order of Disbarment, along with the incorporated Report and Recommendation for Order of Disbarment, shall be published in the Wyoming Reporter and the Pacific Reporter; and it is further

         [¶10] ORDERED that the Clerk of this Court cause a copy of this Order of Disbarment to be served upon Respondent, Samuel P. Krone.

         [¶11] DATED this 31st day of May, 2018.

         BPR NO. 2016-093

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION FOR ORDER OF DISBARMENT

          Jason A. Neville, Chair

         THIS MATTER came before the Board of Professional Responsibility on the 8th day of May, 2018, for consideration of the Stipulation for Disbarment submitted pursuant to Rules 9 and 12 of the Wyoming Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, and the Board having reviewed the Stipulation, the accompanying affidavit of factual basis and being fully advised in the premises, FINDS, CONCLUDES and RECOMMENDS as follows.

         1. Respondent Samuel P. Krone was admitted to the Wyoming State Bar in 2001. From 2003 until his termination in 2016, Respondent was employed as a deputy in the Park County Prosecuting Attorney's office.

         2. On July 29, 2016, a Felony Information was filed in the Circuit Court, Fifth Judicial District, Park County, Wyoming, against Respondent, alleging seven counts of felony and misdemeanor violations by Respondent in the conversion of $9, 633.71 in Park County Bar Association dues between 2011 and 2013, when Respondent was serving as the Treasurer of the Association.

         3. On August 1, 2016, Bar Counsel for the Wyoming State Bar filed a "Petition for Immediate Suspension of Attorney" with the Wyoming Supreme Court pursuant to Rule 17 of the Wyoming Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. Respondent did not file a response, choosing to properly resolve the criminal case, rather than potentially have the ability to practice law while the matter was pending. On August 24, 2016, the Court entered an Order of Immediate Suspension of Respondent, effective immediately. Respondent has remained under suspension since that date. On August 25, 2016, Bar Counsel filed a Formal Charge in the above-captioned proceeding pursuant to Rule 13, Wyo.R.Disc.Proc.

         4. On October 12, 2017, in the District Court, Fifth Judicial District, Park County, Wyoming, pursuant to a written plea agreement which had previously been presented to the court, Respondent pleaded guilty to one count of violation of W.S. 6-3-402(b) and -(c)(i) and W.S. 6-3-410, a felony, and one count of violation of W.S. 6-3-402(a) and -(c)(iii), a misdemeanor, both of which arose from Respondent's wrongful conversion of funds belonging to the Park County Bar Association.

         5. On October 26, 2017, a "Judgment, Sentence, and Order of Probation on Deferred Prosecution under Wyo.Stat.Ann. § 7-13-301" was entered against Respondent in which the court essentially accepted the written plea agreement. As to the felony count, the court deferred its finding of guilt and placed Respondent on three years' supervised probation pursuant to Wyoming Statute § 7-13-301. In the event Respondent does not successfully complete the probation for the felony count, the Court will accept the guilty plea on said count and proceed to sentencing.

         6. As to the misdemeanor count, Respondent was sentenced to 180 days in jail (165 days suspended) and six months of probation to run concurrently with the probation ordered on the felony count.

          7. Respondent was also ordered to pay fees, surcharges and assessments in the amount of $845.00, and to pay restitution to the Park County Bar Association in the amount of $9, 633.77. The remaining counts of the Felony Information were dismissed.

         8. Respondent acknowledges that the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct provide, "A lawyer's conduct should conform to the requirements of the law, both in professional service to clients and in the lawyer's business and personal affairs." Preamble, note [5].

         9. Respondent conditionally admits that in committing the foregoing crime, Respondent violated Rule 8.4(b) (commission of a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty) and Rule 8.4(c) (engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation).

         The Appropriate Sanction

         10. The Wyoming Rules of Disciplinary Procedure require that disciplinary sanctions be determined by applying the ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions using the following factors:

(i) Whether the lawyer has violated a duty owed to a client, to the public, to the legal ...

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