Wednesday, April 28, 1999

Lawyer sentenced to a year

Affidavit falsely put man in jail

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Walnut Hills lawyer was sentenced to one year in prison Tuesday for filing a false affidavit that resulted in the arrest of an innocent man.

        Calling her conduct “reprehensible,” Judge Steven Martin told Doris Houser Allen that her actions warranted a prison sentence.

        Ms. Allen was convicted last month in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on charges of perjury, tampering with records and tampering with evidence. She faced a maximum possible sentence of two years.

        Prosecutors say Ms. Allen filed an affidavit on behalf of client Sylvia Huff that included false charges of domestic violence against Ms. Huff's boyfriend.

        They say Ms. Allen told her client that the accusations would help her win custody of her children.

        As a result of the affidavit, Ms. Huff's estranged boy friend spent a night in jail.

        The charges against Ms. Allen were filed last year after the Ohio Supreme Court rejected a recommendation from the Cincinnati Bar Association to suspend her law license.

        At Ms. Allen's sentencing Tuesday, Ms. Huff said Ms. Allen misled her and snared her in a legal mess.

        “I want the court to know the great pain she has caused me,” Ms. Huff told the judge. “I can understand an honest mistake, but not once did I see any remorse. Not once did I get an apology.”

        Ms. Allen's attorney, Bernard Wong, urged the judge to consider probation. He said his client was not a threat to the community and had already suffered the loss of her law practice.

        The judge, however, said the sentence is necessary because she broke a cardinal rule for lawyers and sent an innocent man to jail.


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