ALTON — Alton attorney Brad Hunt, already accused of felony marijuana charges and misdemeanor sex charges, is facing charges by a state agency that he practiced law without a valid license.
The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission accused Hunt of failing to register as a lawyer and pay a fee but defending several clients, despite being notified that he was not allowed to practice.
The commission said Hunt continued to represent clients, even after he was given notice that he was removed from a master list of attorneys.
The registration and fee were due as of Jan. 1, but the ARDC gave him until April 2 before sending him an official notice that he had been removed from the rolls of attorneys.
“On or about April 2, 2013, the administrator sent respondent (Hunt) a document entitled ‘Notice of Removal from Master Roll’ as a result of his failure to register and pay his 2013 registration fee. Respondent received the notice shortly thereafter,” the commission stated.
“As of approximately April 2, 2013, respondent knew that he had been removed from the master roll of attorneys and was not authorized to practice law in Illinois,” the ARDC stated.
He allegedly appeared in Madison County Circuit Court on seven cases in April and one in May. Those cases included traffic, misdemeanors, orders of protection, felonies, a divorce and a family case. The commission also accuses Hunt of filing pleadings and other signed court documents in two criminal felony cases, one on April 23, and another on May 6.
The ARDC accused him of, among other things, “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.”
The commission has assigned Hunt’s most recent allegations to a hearing board.
Hunt was accused in June of growing 24 marijuana plants in a home he owns in the 3600 block of Horn Street. The commission said authorities also found marijuana in Hunt’s possession. Charges of production and possession of marijuana are pending.
He was facing felony marijuana charges last August when he was indicted on misdemeanor sexual misconduct charges. He allegedly solicited women on two occasions for sex in exchange for legal services. Those cases are pending.
Before the criminal charges, Hunt was already facing a disciplinary case before the ARDC. The commission accused him of keeping $60,000 from a client’s trust account for his own use.
“Respondent used the $60,000 entrusted to him for litigation expenses for his own purposes, including paying personal tax obligations, paying down the mortgage on his home, and making various investments,” the ARDC stated.
Reporter Sanford J. Schmidt may be reached at 618-463-2558 or on Twitter @SanfordJSchmidt.