Thursday, May 26, 2016

California Congressional candidate appealing wrongful disbarment by AZ Bar disciplinary Judge O'Neil

May 25, 2016 7:10 p.m.

A tax attorney running for the 25th Congressional District has filed an appeal after an Arizona judge ordered his disbarment over allegations of misconduct. 

Jeffrey Moffatt, a Republican from Lancaster, admits that in October 2013 he sent a Facebook message to a woman asking her to send him nude photographs. 

Moffatt — a candidate for the congressional seat that takes in the Santa Clarita Valley and is now held by Steve Knight, R-Palmdale — said his actions were a “mistake,” but he believes he did nothing illegal. 

“I happen to have a male drive that on occasion will come out,” he said. “In this case, it was an inopportune time.” 

The woman who received the request filed a complaint in New Mexico, where she was at the time, according to Moffatt. He said the State Bar of New Mexico investigated the claims and determined by December 2013 that no attorney-client relationship existed and that the conduct was not illegal. 

Moffatt said he believed the case was a “done deal” until November 2015, when the State Bar of Arizona filed charges against him. Although Moffatt is based in Lancaster, he handles federal cases and his license to practice law is through Arizona. 

Judge William J. O’Neil signed the order of disbarment April 19. Moffatt appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District. 

Moffatt believes he is being targeted for political reasons, arguing that other attorneys have done worse and not been barred from practicing law. 

“I’m being taken down for asking an out-of-state chick for a nude over Facebook three years ago,” he said. 

His appeal notes that the State Bar of Arizona filed charges only a week after his wife, Star Moffatt, announced her candidacy for California Senate District 21, which takes in most of the Santa Clarita Valley. 

Moffatt alleges the judge who issued the order has a history of targeting high-profile Republican attorneys. 

Read the rest of the article at The Santa Clarita Valley Signal

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