Decided: June 4, 2015
Attorney: Gregory Steven Costabile
Misconduct: conviction for violation of public-official financial-disclosure law; conduct that adversely reflects on fitness to practice law
Citation: Disciplinary Counsel v. Costabile, Slip Opinion No. 2015-Ohio-2082
Discipline: public reprimand
Upon a consent-to-discipline agreement, the Court held violations of public-official financial-disclosure laws warranted a public reprimand in light of the criminal sanctions already imposed.
Gregory Steven Costabile—former mayor and safety director of Mayfield Heights, OH—was convicted of violating Ohio public-official financial-disclosure laws by failing to include the following on financial disclosure statements:
- Receipt of $100,000 as income from Hidden Woods, LLC in 2005 and
- Receipt of income from Seagull Development Corporation in 2010.
The Court considered the matter pursuant to the parties’ consent-to-discipline agreement. See Gov. Bar R. V(16). In the consent-to-discipline agreement, Costabile agrees his conduct violated Prof.Cond.R. 8.4(h) which prohibits a lawyer from engaging in conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer’s fitness to practice.
The parties agreed that the mitigating factors include the absence of a prior disciplinary record, Costabile’s cooperative attitude, evidence of his good character and reputation and the imposition of other penalties and sanctions as a result of his criminal conviction. See Gov.Bar R. V(13). The parties agree that there are no aggravating factors. Based upon Costabile’s stipulated misconduct and these factors, the parties agreed that the appropriate sanction is a public reprimand.
Citing similar cases, the Court agreed with and adopted the parties’ consent-to-discipline agreement. See Disciplinary Counsel v. Taft, 112 Ohio St.3d 155, 2006-Ohio-6525, 858 N.E.2d 414 (a public reprimand was the appropriate sanction for an attorney who violated public official financial-reporting requirements); Disciplinary Counsel v. Gwinn, 138 Ohio St.3d 167, 2014-Ohio-101, 4 N.E.3d 1039 (a public reprimand was the appropriate sanction for an attorney who violated election-law disclosure requirements). As a result, Costabile received a public reprimand.