Attorney Grievance Commission goes after Detroit councilman

Detroit city councilman George Cushingberry was headed to a disciplinary hearing next week in the wake of a FOX 2 problem solver report

But that hearing has been canceled after Cushingberry took action.

Cushingberry has had his license suspended twice due to clients who said he took their money and did not provide services.

He didn't want to listen when M.L. Elrick tried to tell him that he could get in trouble by advertising for his law firm after his license to practice law was suspended. 

But somebody was paying attention.

"There was an indication, perhaps on his web page, that he was still practicing law," said Alan Gershel. "Which of course if that was the case would be a violation in the terms of his suspension."

Gershel is the head honcho at the Attorney Grievance Commission. His job is to protect the public from shysters. After seeing Cushingberry's website and other online advertisements for his law firm, the grievance commission went after cushingberry again.

"When contact was made with Mr. Cushingberry that your web page suggests or indicates to the public that you're still practicing, that has to come down," Gershel said. "You have to take that off, if that's not done, there are consequences."

Those consequences included scheduling a hearing before the Attorney Discipline Board. They are the same folks who suspended Cushingberry's law license twice over the past 18 months - and that finally got Cushingberry's attention.

"The result of that was in fact the change to his web page," Gershel said.

Instead of recruiting new clients, Cushingberry posted a bitter bit of doggerel:

"I am closed for legal business, sight unseen, until i come back in 2016.

My friends call me "Cush" and now I have more time to address pressing issues like pensions, blight and crime.

Some people can be so mean. However, I am running for office in 2017."

Gershel says Cushingberry needs to do more than wait for his year-long suspension to expire to get his law license back.

"At the end of the one year, there's a fairly elaborate reinstatement," he said. "It's not an automatic thing."

In the meantime, the website that once advertised Cushingberry's law firm now promotes his re-election campaign and the grievance commission -- among others -- will keep an eye on Cushingberry, just in case he forgets to follow the rules again.

"If this does reappear, we'll take another look at this," Gershel said.

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