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Commission accuses Carl Brizzi of misconduct

Posted: 9:56 PM, May 18, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-19 17:36:15Z

Editor's note: Carl Brizzi has served as an on-air legal analyst for RTV6 in the past, but has no ongoing affiliation with the station.

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Supreme Court's Disciplinary Commission recommended disciplinary action Monday against former Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi.

A verified complaint for disciplinary action filed this week claims Brizzi committed three violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys at Law related to a real estate deal in Elkhart, Indiana, and a plea deal given in a criminal case in Marion County – both connected to his friend and then-business partner Paul Page.

Page was sentenced in 2013 to two years of probation and a $10,000 fine for felony wire fraud for his role in defrauding a bank during the purchase of a building in Elkhart – which he then leased as office space to the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Two co-defendants in that case, John M. Bales II and William E. Spencer, were found not guilty by a St. Joseph County jury. Brizzi, who owned the building jointly with Page, was never charged.

READ MORE ABOUT THE CASE HERE

According to the disciplinary complaint filed against Brizzi, the former prosecutor had an agreement with Page that he would receive 50 percent of any proceeds from real estate business he brought to Page's company, L&BAB LLC. The complaint alleges Brizzi failed to disclose his interest in the deal in statements of economic interest he was required by law to file as prosecutor.

As prosecutor, Brizzi is also accused of engaging in a conflict of interest regarding a plea deal offered to a client of Page's. In addition to his real estate development work, Page was a practicing criminal attorney in Indianapolis at the time.

The disciplinary complaint alleges Brizzi arranged a plea deal with a client of Page's that would have had the client agree to a D felony. The prosecutor's office would then agree to return $17,550 seized from the client.

The original deal being offered by deputy prosecutors would have had the client plead guilty to a class C felony and agree to the forfeiture of the money.

During an Indiana Supreme Court investigation into the case, Brizzi reportedly offered knowingly false statements about his involvement in the plea deal.

Brizzi told RTV6 he was surprised with the disciplinary commission's complaint.

"They sent a letter last year stating all matters were closed," he said. "The disciplinary commission's pursuit is surprising given their representations plus the fact that the matter is eight years old."

The disciplinary commission has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to discipline Brizzi for the allegations of professional misconduct and to order him to pay expenses involved in the investigation.