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In re Sheahon

May 16, 2008

IN THE MATTER OF MICHAEL K. SHEAHON, RESPONDENT.


Per curiam.

ORIGINAL PROCEEDING IN DISCIPLINE

Original proceeding in discipline.

Indefinite suspension.

This is an original proceeding in discipline filed by the office of the Disciplinary Administrator against Michael K. Sheahon, of Salina, Kansas, an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Kansas. The formal complaint filed against the respondent alleged violation of Kansas Rule of Professional Conduct (KRPC) 8.4. The respondent did not file a written answer to the formal complaint. Respondent was contacted, acknowledged being notified of the proceeding before this court, and advised that since he had taken no exceptions with the final hearing report he did not feel he needed to appear.

A hearing was held before a panel of the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys. Although the respondent did not file a written answer to the formal complaint, he did appear in person. Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the panel made the following findings of fact and conclusions of law, together with its recommendations to this court:

"FINDINGS OF FACT

"The Hearing Panel finds the following facts, by clear and convincing evidence:

"1. Michael K. Sheahon (hereinafter 'the Respondent') is an attorney at law, Kansas Attorney Registration No. 11348. His last registration address with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts of Kansas is . . . Salina, Kansas. . . . The Respondent was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Kansas in September, 1982.

"2. The Respondent failed to file state and federal income tax returns for the tax years 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. Since 2002, the Respondent has filed state and federal income tax returns. Despite the fact that the Respondent filed his state and federal income tax returns for tax years 2002 through 2005, he has outstanding tax liability for those years.

"3. On December 29, 2004, the Respondent was indicted in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas with four misdemeanor counts of failing to file an income tax return in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7203.

"4. On August 16, 2005, the Respondent entered a plea of guilty to one count of failing to file an income tax return for 1998. The United States dismissed the remaining three counts.

"5. On August 17, 2005, the Respondent self-reported that he entered a plea of guilty to the misdemeanor charge.

"6. On December 12, 2005, the Court sentenced the Respondent to a term of probation for a period of three years. As part of the probation order, the Court imposed the following special condition on the Respondent:

'The defendant shall file truthful and complete federal and state income tax returns in a timely manner, according to law, and cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities regarding any matter related to the defendant's past or present tax liability during the term of supervision.'

"7. On March 21, 2007, Brooke M. Paulson, United States Probation Officer, filed a petition for warrant or summons for offender under supervision. In the petition, Ms. Paulson alleged that the Respondent failed to file his tax returns since 1995, that the Respondent failed to meet with an IRS agent as requested, that he failed to contact the IRS to resolve the outstanding debts, and that he failed to provide monthly income documentation to the probation department as directed. Thereafter, the Court issued a warrant for the Respondent's arrest. Following his arrest, the Respondent served four days in jail. The Court's release of the Respondent was conditioned on the Respondent's compliance with the original conditions of his probation.

"[8]. On July 25, 2007, a hearing was set to hear evidence regarding whether the Respondent's probation should be revoked. On that date, the revocation proceedings against the Respondent were dismissed when evidence was produced that the ...


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