A Republican candidate for county prosecutor who hired a convicted felon to intimidate four people who owed him money was disbarred Friday by the West Virginia Supreme Court.
The court voted unanimously to take away Mark Blevins' law license for hiring a felon in 2003 and 2004 to intimidate some of his former clients who owed him nearly $15,000. The court said Blevins also asked the convict to secure a gun for him, an action the justices called "profoundly disturbing."
The court said Blevins' conduct "reflected adversely on his character and fitness to practice law and endangered his former clients and other members of the public for his own pecuniary gain."
The justices rejected Blevins' argument that no one was actually harmed by his actions. Blevins, a lawyer since 1993, could not immediately be reached. His office phone was disconnected and a home listing went unanswered Friday.
Blevins was to face incumbent Democrat Scott Smith on Nov. 4 in the race for Ohio County prosecutor. The county elections coordinator was awaiting direction from the Secretary of State's office.
State elections manager Jason Williams said the court could order county officials to remove Blevins' name from the ballot, or if his name remains on the ballot and he wins, Smith could contest the results on grounds that Blevins is not qualified to serve.
If Blevins seeks to have his law license reinstated, the court stipulated that he must complete nine hours of ethics education and be certified by a psychiatrist. His practice also would be supervised for two years.
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