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24707 - In the Matter of Joel Bethea Floyd

Davis Adv. Sh. No. 30
S.E. 2d


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

In The Supreme Court

In the Matter of Joel

Bethea Floyd, Respondent.

Opinion No. 24707

Submitted October 13, 1997 - Filed October 27, 1997

DEFINITE SUSPENSION

Attorney General Charles M. Condon and Senior

Assistant Attorney General James G. Bogle, Jr., of

Columbia, for Complainant.

John A. O'Leary, of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: In this attorney disciplinary matter,

respondent and Disciplinary Counsel have entered into an agreement

under Rule 21, RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR. In the agreement, respondent

admits misconduct and consents to be suspended from the practice of law

for twelve months, retroactive to the date of his interim suspension. We

accept the agreement.

On September 5, 1996, respondent was indicted in Florence

County for distribution of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to

distribute, possession of heroin, and possession of a controlled substance

with intent to distribute. On March 25, 1997, respondent pled guilty to

possession of heroin and was sentenced to two years' imprisonment and

fined $5,000, suspended upon the service of ninety days' house arrest and

payment of a $1,000 fine, with three years' probation.

On April 16, 1997, respondent waived presentment of an

indictment in Clarendon County, and pled guilty to knowingly and

p. 20


IN THE MATTER OF FLOYD

intentionally acquiring or obtaining possession of a controlled substance,

pursuant to a prescription authorized by one medical doctor, withholding

from that doctor the fact that he was obtaining a controlled substance of

like use in a concurrent time period from another medical doctor. See S.C.

Code § 44-53-395 (A)(3)(Supp. 1985). Respondent was sentenced to two

years' imprisonment and fined $2,000, suspended upon the service of sixty

days' house arrest, and three years' probation.

Possession of heroin is a crime of moral turpitude. In re

Gibson, 302 S.C. 12, 393 S.E.2d 184 (1990). A violation of § 44-53-

395(A)(3) is a serious crime as defined in Rule 2(z), RLDE, since it

includes, as a necessary element, misrepresentation, fraud and deceit. The

commission of these crimes constitutes a violation of Rule 8.4(a)(violation

of the Rules of Professional Conduct). The violation of § 44-53-395(A)(3) is

also a violation of Rule 8.4(d)(engaging in conduct involving dishonesty,

fraud, deceit or misrepresentation). This misconduct is grounds for

discipline under Rules 7(a)(1)(violation of the Rules of Professional

Conduct) and 7(a)(4)(conviction of a crime of moral turpitude or a serious

crime), RLDE.

In our opinion, respondent's misconduct warrants a definite

suspension from the practice of law for twelve months, retroactive to June

19, 1997, the date of his interim suspension. Within fifteen days of the

date of this opinion, respondent shall file an affidavit with the Clerk of

Court showing that he has complied with Rule 30, RLDE.

DEFINITE SUSPENSION.

p. 21