In back-to-back rulings, the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board this week found that two lawyers involved in the infamous text message scandal that brought down Detroit’s mayor engaged in professional misconduct.
On Tuesday, a three-member panel of the board found that Michael Stefani, a partner at Royal Oak, Mich.’s Stefani & Stefani, engaged in professional misconduct by directly obtaining incriminating text messages between Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former lover, instead of sending the messages to a judge. Stefani represented two police officers in a 2007 whistleblower trial in which the officers alleged Kilpatrick had retaliated against them for investigating his inner circle. The text messages revealed that Kilpatrick had lied on the stand about an affair with his top aide.
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