COLUMBUS: The Akron Bar Association’s grievance committee has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to suspend the law license of Norton attorney Thomas Walkley, arguing that he is a danger to the public.
Walkley, 53, was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial last month in a ruling by a municipal court judge, who acted after Walkley was arrested on two misdemeanor charges of public indecency.
After his January arrest by Norton police, Walkley admitted exposing himself to two teens who were seeking a counseling referral for their underage drinking arrests.
Walkley, founder of the Cafe 41:11 coffee shop for troubled teens, told investigators his actions were meant to be an educational tool and he had done it before in mentoring sessions.
Municipal Judge David Fish ordered a psychological evaluation, along with a 30-day treatment program at a mental health facility.
Last week, the misdemeanor charges were dismissed when Fish revealed in a court hearing that Walkley’s competence had not yet been restored through treatment.
Walkley was immediately placed on house arrest, with orders not to leave his home except for court-approved appointments with his attorney or mental health workers.
Fish also ordered Walkley to refrain from practicing law and to refrain from contact or communications with anyone outside his home.
In the request to suspend the law license, the general counsel of the Akron Bar, William Chris, outlined Walkley’s competency issues.
Allowing him to continue practicing law, Chris’ filing stated, “would surely be detrimental to his clients, prejudicial to the administration of justice and pose a substantial threat of serious harm to the public.”
The high court has not taken any action against Walkley, a spokesman in Columbus said Friday, but has instructed him to respond to the bar’s complaint by next Thursday.
Walkley’s attorney, Paul Adamson, did not return phone messages seeking comment.
The Akron bar’s action comes after a July 15 Beacon Journal story detailing Walkley’s criminal charges and his continued representation of an elderly woman in a probate case while the issue of his competency was before Judge Fish.
Ed Meyer can be reached at 330-996-3784 or at email@example.com.