Campaign Speech Triggers State Bar Investigation

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The State Bar of Arizona is investigating whether a candidate for Gila County attorney violated protocol at a local candidate forum.

At a Tea Party meeting in June, attorney Bradley Beauchamp allegedly divulged client information, possibly violating the attorney-client privilege.

Gila County Attorney incumbent Daisy Flores also attended the meeting at Tiny’s Restaurant and rumors surfaced she filed the complaint with the state bar against Beauchamp for disclosing such information.

Rick DeBruhl, chief communication officer with the Arizona Bar, said Flores did not file the complaint against Beauchamp, but would not disclose who had.

However, Beauchamp maintains that Flores’ secretary filed the complaint using her county e-mail address.

Beauchamp denied he had done anything wrong and said the complaint was politically motivated.

“The bar is going to see through this because there is nothing to it,” he said.

Beauchamp said dozens of other people present at the forum can attest that he did nothing wrong.

The election is in August, but DeBruhl said it could take six months before the bar counsel makes a ruling.

If counsel feels an investigation is appropriate, Beauchamp would receive written notice of the allegations and he would be asked to submit a written response to those allegations.

If the committee determined his actions likely violated ethics rules, it could go before the board for a full hearing.

The committee could, however, also dismiss the case if it found he’d done nothing wrong.

DeBruhl said he did not know when the committee would look at the case.

An attorney that violates the Rules of Professional Conduct can be fined, issued an admonition, placed on probation, reprimanded, suspended or disbarred.

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