Former legislator suspended from practicing law for three years

April 21, 2011 | | Comments 3

By Beth Musgrave

FRANKFORT — A former state legislator and prosecutor was suspended from practicing law for three years by the state Supreme Court, which acted Thursday on a recommendation from the Kentucky Bar Association.

Leo Marcum, who is also facing charges of not paying state and federal income taxes, was suspended for mixing client money and his own money in an escrow account and not answering truthfully when asked by the KBA about the money.

The state bar association obtained the financial records of Marcum’s escrow account, which showed that he was using the account to pay for his personal expenses as well as expenses relating to his clients’ cases. Lawyers are not allowed to mix client money with office or personal funds. In its order, the Supreme Court noted Marcum’s lengthy disciplinary history.

Marcum has been publicly reprimanded twice and has received three private admonitions and was suspended once for 181 days, according to the order. Marcum has also been suspended for a year for mishandling client money.

Marcum pleaded not guilty in April to six felony counts for not paying state income taxes from 2004 to 2009. He also faces charges in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Kentucky for not paying $1.3 million in back federal taxes. That case is still pending.

Marcum was a Republican state representative from Inez from 1978 to 1979. From 1987 to 2002, he served as Commonwealth’s Attorney in the 24th Judicial District, which covers Lawrence, Johnson and Martin counties.

Marcum was not immediately available for comment.

Filed Under: FeaturedFederal GovernmentKentucky Bar AssociationKY CourtsKY General AssemblyState GovernmentSteve BeshearUS Senate Race

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