July 24, 2024

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Noble County legal professional suspended for feces-loaded can toss

Noble County legal professional suspended for feces-loaded can toss

A Noble County attorney is suspended just after throwing a feces-loaded Pringles can at a victim advocacy centre

By: WOUB Information Group

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOUB) — A Noble County defense attorney was given a yearlong suspension, with six months stayed, after throwing a Pringles potato chip can filled with his feces into the parking lot of the county’s crime-victim advocacy center in 2021.

A gavel sits upright on a table
[Billion Photos | shutterstock.com]

Jack Blakeslee was found by the Supreme Court of Ohio to have engaged in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, according to a press release sent out Wednesday.

Justices found there was clear and convincing evidence “he chose the Haven of Hope parking lot as his drop zone” to get a thrill from pranking victim advocates he admittedly had known for years and whom he would most likely be seeing in court 15 minutes later.

Surveillance video from November 2021 showed Blakeslee slowing his vehicle as he passed the Haven of Hope parking lot and continued further down the alley. He then passed several parking lots before turning around and slowly passing the Haven of Hope lot a second time. The video shows him throwing the Pringles can into the lot and driving to the courthouse for a morning pretrial hearing.

Blakeslee pleaded guilty to minor misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and littering after the incident was reported to the Cambridge Police Department by the chief executive officer of Haven of Hope. He paid $248 in fines and court costs.

In November 2022, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed a complaint with the Board of Professional Conduct based on the incident.

Blakeslee admitted throwing Pringles cans filled with his feces from his vehicle on at least 10 occasions, in a variety of locations.

He described his actions as pranks as a way to “blow off steam,” admitted it was “stupid,” and that he was embarrassed by the public revelation of his conduct and media attention.

The Board of Professional Conduct initially recommended that the court publicly reprimand Blakeslee after it reviewed the case. The opinion noted the primary purpose of attorney discipline is not to punish the offender but to protect the public.

The court said it found a greater sanction was needed to protect the public.

“The evidence in this case shows that despite societal standards of cleanliness and decorum, Blakeslee failed to control his own bizarre impulses to place feces-filled cans out in public for unsuspecting people to find. His aberrant conduct has adversely reflected on his own fitness to practice law and brought discredit to the profession through significant media attention,” the court stated.

Blakeslee claimed he was not targeting anyone with his antics but had a habit of placing his waste in Pringles cans and randomly throwing them from his car as he traveled down the road. He testified that he is a Vietnam veteran and received psychological treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder related to military service and as a victim of child abuse.

The court stayed the final six months of the one-year suspension with the condition that he commit no further misconduct. He was also ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

Blakeslee has been a criminal defense attorney for more than 40 years and has no prior record of attorney discipline.