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Friday, September 29, 2006

Aurora Township Clerk Juan Thomas Suspended from Practice of Law for 90 Days

Aurora Township Clerk Juan Thomas (D), who was elected in 2005, has been suspended from the practice of law for 90 days, effective October 12th, according to the Illinois Attorney Disciplinary Commission (ARDC).

The misconduct alleged involved various violations of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and surrounds this matter:

"On December 20, 2004, without her knowledge or authorization, Respondent placed Salina Marsh's purported signature on a bail refund petition which authorized the release of the funds to Respondent. Respondent had the petition notarized, filed the petition with the Court and later misrepresented his actions in this regard to the State's Attorney and the Commission."

Thomas has been politically active and part of various organizations, including the Quad County Urban League, African-American Chamber of Commerce and West Aurora School Board. He has never been disciplined before.

Some are seeking the resignation of Thomas as Aurora Township Clerk, but Thomas is apparently not considering it.

We think integrity matters. To report unethical conduct of any attorney, contact the ARDC.

Should Juan Thomas resign as Aurora Township Clerk?

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, Thomas should resign as Township Clerk. This is not an unintentional violation. He forged a client's signature, lied to a notary about the signature, and then lied to investigators regarding the incident. Someone with this lack of ethics should not be rewarded with a government position.
Additionally, I hope the school district does not hire him as a substitute teacher. We do not need someone with such a lack of ethics instructing our children.

Anonymous said...

I am SO disappointed in Juan Thomas over this situation! I've supported him for several years, and always admired his courage in standing up for his beliefs against the "old guard". I thought that he had a bright future ahead of him in public service, but this incident will definitely affect his reputation with the public (which is the most valuable asset a politician has, IMHO).

But should he resign? Not necessarily. IF he admits his mistake, is sincerely remorseful, and acts responsibly in the future I would be willing to give him my support (and vote) again. After all, I've made a few blunders myself over the years, and I definitely look more favorably upon a public official who is honest about having done something stupid than those who are arrogant & hypocritical.

Anonymous said...

Juan Thomas should resign and he should not be instructing our children!

Anonymous said...

What a loser.

Anonymous said...

Boy 8:39 this guy broke ethical standards, decieved the public and used his position for his own gain.

And if he says he is sorry you'll give him another chance. Wow, I thought the forgiving days of Jimmy Swaggert were long over. Once a cheat ALWAYS a cheat.

Hang this guy out to dry, he IS a loser.

Anonymous said...

8:39 you are very forgiving.

However, this is not the first such ethical violation Jaun has had and hes should be made accoutable.

Anonymous said...

I like how tries to become the victim in this."My political opponets blah, blah whine..."
Nice try dummy, but this is all on you and I hope you have to resign.

Anonymous said...

Let's get the facts straight. Juan Thomas did not forge anyone's signature. Someone else forged the signature. The mistake that Juan made, and admitted to, was notarizing the document after the fact. I'd like to know what Monica Silva's true motivation was and who put her up to this.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone say Chapa Biris

Anonymous said...

To 9/29/2006 9:27 AM
What other violations has he had?

To 9/29/2006 8:39 AM
I'm like you in thinking that here is an up and coming young leader from Aurora with a bright future. But I am very disappointed about this incident.
If there have been other incidents as 9/29/2006 9:27 AM stated then he doesn't deserve another chance. I wasn't aware of any other violations so 9/29/2006 9:27 AM really needs to let us in on those.

Anonymous said...

9:49 am-Juan may say that he did not forge the woman's signature, but the charges against him, that the ARDC found to be supported by the evidence, and upon which basis he was suspended, stated that he forged her signature.

Anonymous said...

No--- once is enough. Arent we all getting sick and tired of this "I am so sorry I messed up" game. This guy is a Lawyer. Get him out and get someone with some ethics in there are plenty of good honest and ethical people around. He can be easily replaced. This scandal will follow him to the day he dies. To bad he did not think of that when he breached his ethical standards.

Anonymous said...

Lost in all this is the fact he almost never attends meetings,and does not really live in Aurora

Leonard said...

In an effort to provide information.
Go to www.iardc.org and look up the information on the following matter:

In the Matter of:
JUAN R. THOMAS, Attorney-Respondent, Attorney No. No. 6238240., Supreme Court No. M.R. 21053, Commission No. 05 CH 72

You will read among other information the following:

“2. On December 20, 2004, without her knowledge or authorization, Respondent placed Salina Marsh's purported signature on a bail refund petition which authorized the release of the funds to Respondent. Respondent had the petition notarized, filed the petition with the Court and later misrepresented his actions in this regard to the State's Attorney and the Commission. A detailed description of Respondent's misconduct is set forth Section II below.”

And

“9. Following a July 16, 2004 trial, Williams was found guilty of violating his probation. Thereafter, Williams pled guilty to the charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, and on December 20, 2004, the Court sentenced him to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. At the time of the hearing, Williams owed Respondent $500 of the $2,000 he agreed to accept as his fee.”

“10. Immediately following the hearing, without the knowledge or authorization of Marsh, Respondent placed Marsh's purported signature on a petition for a refund of bail, which authorized the release of Williams' bond to Respondent. Respondent had a colleague notarize the signature, and on December 22, 2004, Respondent filed the petition with the clerk of the La Salle County Circuit Court.”

“11. On December 30, 2004, the La Salle County clerk's office mailed to Respondent its check in the amount of $900, representing the refund of the bail, less ten percent due to the circuit clerk, and on January 7, 2005, Respondent deposited the check into his business operating account.”

No value judgment is being made by this post. Some posters have asked about the case and the charge and this is post is information taken directly from ARDC.

Anonymous said...

If you follow Leonard's instructions, you get a much clearer picture of what took place. Once again, the Beacon News has missed some of the salient facts.

Anonymous said...

so you make "no value judgement" when it is a fellow lawyer, and of all people you should clearly see what Thomas engaged in and the implications of an ARDC action. Yet you sure had plenty to say about a historic district.

Anonymous said...

Juan Thomas should resign, but what does Chapa have to do with all this.


Fernando Chapa was at the Aurora Township meeting when the trustee asked Juan to explain his actions...

Anonymous said...

I personally have nothing against Juan Thomas, but we have to have basic standards of integrity for public officials.

Too often, we see public officials lying without consequence (Bob Vaughan, Weisner).

We also need to root out bad attorneys in this town. There are many unethical ones all over and, just like with bad cops, the only way for the good ones to get credit is for the bad ones to be gone.

What troubles me about Juan's reaction is that he looks at 3 months at a slap on the wrist.

Let him run again later if he wants, but he should resign.

Leonard said...

You are correct, I made no value judgment with my post. My post was to address questions raised by various other posters as to the facts in Mr. Thomas’ case which facts appeared to be conflicting. To that end I did exactly what I set out to do.

I do not have to state my opinion or judge Mr. Thomas. The people that read this blog are very capable of reading the facts and making their own assessment of the actions of Mr. Thomas. Those actions peak for themselves for any right minded and thinking person. In this case the actions, like that old saying goes, speak louder than words.

Openline said...

Thank you Leonard.

Anonymous said...

This blog is getting to be to much for even me. Leonard I appreciate your input on this site but you know its funny that you get this information from the ARDC website, cut/paste and select what YOU feel is relevant to be posted on this site. Yet you have no opinion and on top of it the moderators of this blog thank you.

Openline I am suprised at your moderating faux pa.

Anonymous said...

signing off........

Openline said...

Leonard has provided valuable information, perpective and insight into many issues.

We appreciate everyone who helps provide depth on any matter.

Leonard said...

I posted the facts that were relevant to the direct issue of whether or not Mr. Thomas signed the person's name. there was a difference of opinion as to that fact.

I saw no reason to post the entire case as published on the ARDC website. Next time I will do that and you will complain that the post is too long or not relevant or something else.

I do have an opinion on Mr. Thomas' actions however, I do not have a need to castigate him on this blog.

Frankly, such actions, especially when taken against the courts, should be prosecuted criminally. However, I am not the state's attorney and it is the state's attorney that makes such decisions not me.

Leonard said...

Anonymous 3:05

You attack me for selective relevance. Is not every post on this blog based upon selective relevance?

Every writer selects information or coments that he or she decides to post on this blog. It is a self editorial process. Every single person that posts here engages in selective relevance including you.

Anonymous said...

Hey:

Leonard provided facts. You read the facts and decide. Facts are things sadly missing from many posts. Good job, Mr. L.

Anonymous said...

what about the collegue that notorized the document? Shouldn't he be subjected to the same standard? There is one lawyer for every 268 people in this country so it seems to me a lawyer needs to always be on their best behavior or risk being replaced.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Demonrats are grooming him for a run at the presidency. This sounds all to fimiliar.

Anonymous said...

3:05 Faux Pa?

What sre you talking about? Actually I know. You are attempting to make some negative statement about this blog. However, from where I type you must be against free speech. The only thing I see Openline take of this blog is overt attacks against specific individuals that ate not substantiated. Other than those few comments the allow all speach even your negative shadow casting.

Keep it up everyone sees right through the mayoral operatives and old Aurora boys who make these type of post.

I just think it is funny that you actually think anyone would fall for your propaganda post.


FYI Juan is faker and shaker who is all about Juan it would not surprise me one bit if other of his wrong doings come to light in the near future.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comment and find the comment of 9/29 3:05pm very disingenuous.

Leonard posted what he thought was relevant from the ARDC. If someone thinks there is something else relevant, post it.

This blog has done a very good job of letting debate flourish and they even allow the cronies and fishwrap staff to whine.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know what other "violations" you have on Mr. Thomas. Do you have any reference to court records, documents or proof of any other violations. You know, I have known Mr. Thomas for several years and even though this is an unfortunate incident for him, unless you have proof of other "violations" then you may want to be careful abuot making acusations against him. Beside he is not the first poltitcal figure who has had an issue with his law liecnce. Have you ever heard of Harold Washington or Bill Clinton. Each of them were suspended from practicing law and Washington became a U.S. Congressman and if Clinton ran for President tomorrow he could still win hands down. Both of them were suspended much longer than Mr. Thomas and did things much worst. So maybe Thomas should resign as Town Clerk and run for Mayor, Congress or even President! Lets put this in perspective folks!

Anonymous said...

12:08

Surely you can come up with better references than Clinton or Haorld Washington.

The fact that you use them as a defense of Juan has to be a joke !?

Washington and Clinton were both bums so I guess what you are saying is Juan is too. No further proof needed.

He might want to start by getting new friends becasue with friends like you and that lame defense who needs eneimies.

Anonymous said...

To 10/02/2006 5:13 PM
I believe you missed 10/02/2006 12:08 PM's point. His point was even though both Washington and Clinton had their license's suspended they still were able to attain high political offices. Obviously your opinion of Washington and Clinton had no affect on their careers, as I suspect your opinion of Juan Thomas will also have zero effect. Personally I disliked both Harold Washington and Bill Clinton. But the reality is the voting public is very lenient when it comes to upholding the law.

Anonymous said...

5:13
So we just accept it ? and them? Must be a demonrat!

I believe in responsible governance.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that you never provided any other proof or information regarding other "violations" committed by Mr. Thomas? If you have something come out with it and be able to back it up. Otherwise stop kicking a man when he is down. From what I have observed about Mr. Thomas he is far from perfect, but he is not going to allow this to define him or be the last you hear from him. Besides our community needs leaders that know how to overcome adversity. Lets see how Thomas bounces back. Then judge him.

Anonymous said...

Amen, 8:02. I know Juan and I believe he is a man of character. He has admitted a mistake and is willing to take his punishment like a man. I just wish we could say the same about the Speaker of the House. I wonder if Monica Silva "feels in her heart" that Hastert shares any responsibility for FoleyGate. How about it, Monica? Willing to go out on a limb for Denny?

Anonymous said...

Denny Hastert didn't violate Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys or been accused or conduct involving "fraud, deceit..."

I happen to know Juan and am very disappointed in him. There are much worse unethical scumbag attorneys in Aurora who've been practicing for many years who deserve an ARDC investigation and suspension, but that doesn't justify Juan's actions.

Juan is fortunate he has done some good things or the punishment could have been worse. They took mitigating factors into consideration.

As for any political future, Juan should stay away from the Weisner crowd.

Anonymous said...

To 10/03/2006 8:02 PM
Well said. I too asked for proof on more possible violations. Both people who posted those accusations have not bothered to come forward again with any proof. That is becoming way too typical here in this blog. Make an accusation but have zero to back it up.

Anonymous said...

To 10/03/2006 9:44 PM

Quote "As for any political future, Juan should stay away from the Weisner crowd." End Quote

Why? This is the first Mayor and council in over 20 years that is actually doing something for Aurora. Finally we have a Mayor and council (with the exception of 2 who believe being the devils advocate actually accomplishes something) who are forward thinking and doers. In my opinion Juan would do good to be associated with the people who are going to bring Aurora out of the negative dark ages.

Anonymous said...

Weisner has been the worst mayor in the history of Aurora and, considering we've had some lousy mayors, that's pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

To 10/05/2006 11:22 AM

Why do you even bother to post such a ridiculous comment. Exactly what is it based upon?
Well I guess it is your choice to post what you want.

I know, give us your breakdown of the pro's and con's of ALL of the previous mayors of Aurora and then compare that information with Mayor Weisner's performance. That could be interesting reading.
Or maybe you should just post another totally inane comment.

Anonymous said...

I agree 11:22 a.m., as do most people breathing fresh air every day, but be alert for the flurry of crony accusatory posts. Here they come......

Anonymous said...

From what I heard, Juan Thomas has been fired from every job he has ever had. Fired from the City of Aurora, fired from Jesse White, fired from some law firm in Chicago. Thing is, he always had Tom Weisner to cover for him.

Anonymous said...

I too, have known Juan far more years than I care to aknowledge. I have never considered him a team player, nor a trustworthy colleague. However, I am open to the possibility that defining moments in people's careers can be a catalyst for change. Whatever, we have known Juan to be previously, we must allow for the possiblity that this experience will change the negative direction his career seemed to be headed. Juan is still relatively early in his career. Perhaps his lack of judgment was a reflection of his need for guidance in the pursuit of his career. As one blogger has stated, there does not seem to be evidence of previous violations upon which we might conclude that he is incorrigible. Therefore, wouldn't it be appropriate to allow this man the opportunity to redeem himself, rather than continually castigating him? If you have reached the age of thirty, not a soul among us can say that he's never committed a meaningful error in judgment that he wished he could recall. Most of us have the advantage of dealing with our mistakes privately. Few of us are forced to be confronted with our errors in judgment in so public a forum as this. As long as I have known Juan, we have never been friends. But I must admit even I am rooting for his professional and personal recovery from this embarrassing spectacle.

Anonymous said...

Hey, some of you guys have really lost it. You do not have your facts accurate when it come's to Thomas' career. I have known him a while and he interned for the City of Aurora back in 1992 when he was about 21 years old. He left the City to go to law school. Three years later he won a seat on the West Aurora School Board when he was only 25 years old and was the youngest person ever elected to that Board.(And I think he was still in law school in Urbana at the time he ran communting from Urbana to Aurora to make the meetings.) And again where are you getting your information? What proof do you have that Jesse White fired him and for what. Who in JW office do you know that will confirm this. And why is Thomas not a team player or trustworthy? Since I have known him and of him, he has supported Democrats his enter political career. He supported Chapa-LaVia and took her around to Black Churhes in Aurora, he supported Wesiner and made the front page of the Beacon news and caught hell for it from many African-Americans for not supporting Irvin, he was the first local leader to bring Obama to Aurora when no one even knew who Obama was, and I also remember Thomas writing for the Beacon during the DNC convention in 2004 and wrote many positive articles about Obama, the convention and a local college student from Aurora who he had mentored. So when was he not a team player or trustworthy?

Anonymous said...

Juan Thomas "mentored" that college student in Boston all right. Invited him to go, and them left the poor kid to find his own place to stay while there, because he was out every night trying to meet girls to hook up with.

Anonymous said...

Let's not confuse a few public appearances performed for his benefit every bit as much for the particular candidates involved as being a team player. Juan has never done a thing for which he didn't receive some personal benefit. That's not being a team player. Never forget Juan is a POLITICIAN. He absolutely would make it his sole career, if the the public would support him. And frankly, in my personal interactions with Juan he hasn't impressed me that public service is the driving force of his life. While I'm not normally the type to dredge-up negative history. I certainly could bring a few facts to light that would support my opinion that he's untrustworthy and not a team player. But that would be concentrating on the negative past rather than possibly hopeful future. I would not want to expose him to further ridicule. Frankly, the person who responded to my blog missed the point of it. My point was that despite what seems to be a real stumbling block for Juan, his integrity is still salvagable.

Anonymous said...

Thomas is a slime dog. I was involved in a traffic accident with Mr. Thomas some years ago, he tried to not report it, telling me he was a lawyer and we did not have to report it. I'll never forget this lying piece of garbage trying to impress me with his legal scholarship. He was passionate in his belief that we did not have to report this accident despite my showing him the rules of the road book from the state of Illinois involving damage over 500 dollars to a vehicle. Trying to get the money for damages from Thomas was a challenge in and of itself, even in an accident in which he was admittedly 100% at fault.

The guy is a piece of filth.

Anonymous said...

It just occured to me? If you and Juan Thomas were involved in a car accident, there should be a police report that could be used to show his liability? Do you have one or is just more unfounded charges against Mr. Thomas. And as for the blogger who said Juan Thomas did not mentor a college student in Boston during the DNC convention, I have recently confirmed that the college student stayed in the hotel with the rest of the Illinois Delegation arranged by Mr. Thomas who was a delegate and that Mr. Thomas was with his girlfriend the entire week and that the college student met her. So it looks like he did not have much time to be looking for girls with his girlfirend with him the entire time. So guys should get your facts together before you go on the attack. Ans I still notice that no one who has attaked Mr. Thomas for "other acts of misconduct or inappropreiate behavior" have provided any proof of anything. Without any proof, lets close the chapter of our conversation and have a happy new year.

Anonymous said...

I recently dealt with Juan Thomas on another matter and I will say that I believe he has yet to learn the importance of integrity, even six years later.

Anonymous said...

This guy is the worst attorney ever, forget about him being a politician , he just doesn't get it, why does he keep running for office to serve the public when he is a self serving egotistical thief. What lawyer would risk his law license for $2.00 dollars. He has burned so many clients in his practice, Ill be surprised if he doesn't loose his license to practice law forever. BTW he will never win an election in the state of Illinois EVER !! Don't trust him with any legal services.....you will waste your money !!!

Anonymous said...

Yes the saying is true it is hard for a snake to trun from his old ways. sad to say but Juan is still up to his same old bad ways and stay tuned because I will be fileing charges aginst him with the ARDC this week SH Aurora