Va. Bar: “Public Reprimand” for Monica Goodling

As others and I have long argued, Monica Goodling engaged in professional misconduct while in the employ of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. On March 14, 2011, the Fourth District Section II Subcommittee of the Virginia State Bar determined finally – and correctly, IMO – ruled that she did in fact “commit a criminal or deliberately wrongful act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to practice law[.]” [Full determination by the Subcommittee can be read here.]

In spite of explicitly questioning her ‘honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to practice law,’ the Subcommittee then proceeded to slap Ms. Goodling on the wrist by Publicly Reprimanding her by merely stating in the order that “she is so reprimanded.” Ironically, the Subcommittee’s public reprimand determined that the terms of the public reprimand would not be made public. The Subcommittee was able to reach this result because, as they carefully noted, Mr. Goodling was never referred for criminal charges. Even though she testified to Congress that she violated federal law. Even though she asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

At this point, Ms. Goodling should consider herself lucky that she still has her license to practice law. The question now is whether anyone is going to offer her a job – as an attorney.

h/t: Ryan J. Reilly at TPMMuckraker.