The Alaska Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended a U.S. Attorney from the George H.W. Bush administration from practicing law.
Wev Shea, who served as Alaska U.S. Attorney from 1990 to 1993, will start his 25-month suspension on June 17. He faced conflict of interest accusations, stemming from his decision to switch clients in a suit between two siblings.
In its order, the court said there is “clear and convincing evidence” that Shea was in violation of rules of conduct for lawyers. The body also said the former U.S. Attorney must show he is “mentally fit to return to the practice of law” if he reapplies for his license.
The Alaska Bar Association Disciplinary Board in September recommended the suspension and mental evaluation.
Shea has defended his actions, claiming he did not have to uphold attorney-client privileges with his first client because he felt the man broke the law. The former U.S. Attorney said his initial client planned a fraud scheme with his lawyers.
“I know that you are wondering probably why Wev Shea would do this,” Shea told KTUU, an Alaskan television station, last year. “I did it because the conduct is criminal.”
Shea was an adviser to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R). He assisted in the development of ethics reform proposals for the former governor’s administration.