COLUMBUS, OHIO (AP) - The attorney whose email tip to Jim Tressel launched a scandal that led to his forced resignation as Ohio State’s football coach and possible NCAA discipline for the school is being investigated for legal misconduct by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Sanctions against lawyer Christopher Cicero could range from a public reprimand to permanently losing his law license.
State Disciplinary Counsel Jonathan Coughlan alleged in a filing Monday that Cicero violated professional conduct rules by revealing information from interviews with a potential client.
Cicero, a former Ohio State football player in the early 1980s, met with Columbus tattoo parlor owner Edward Rife on April 2, 2010 and again on April 15, 2010 to discuss whether Cicero would represent him in a federal drug trafficking case, according to the filing.
During an April 1, 2010 raid on Rife’s business, federal agents seized several pieces of Ohio State football memorabilia, including gold pendants, autographed photos and championship rings, the filing said.
“During the meeting, Rife expressed his concern that their conversation would remain confidential,” the filing said. Cicero “assured Rife that everything Rife told respondent would remain confidential.”
A message left with Cicero on Monday was not immediately returned.