Judge: Rep. Reynolds can’t practice law while appealing barratry conviction
Via the Houston Chronicle
State Rep. Ron Reynolds will not be able to practice law while appealing his conviction for illegally soliciting clients, a Montgomery County judge ruled Tuesday.
County Court-at-Law Judge Mary Ann Turner also set Reynolds’ bond at $25,000. The Missouri City Democrat had not been released from the county jail as of Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
Reynolds, 42, was sentenced Monday by a six-member jury to up to 12 months in jail and a $20,000 fine following the attorney’s conviction last week on five counts of misdemeanor barratry, or illegally soliciting clients.
The sentence came as Reynolds, the first African-American since Reconstruction elected to the Texas House from Fort Bend County, was starting to campaign for a fourth term. The misdemeanor convictions don’t require him to give up his seat, but deal a blow to his political and legal careers.
Reynolds was among eight Houston-area attorneys charged in what prosecutors called an “ambulance chasing for profit” scheme to pay a convicted felon to scour Houston police records and recruit accident victims to be clients. The other attorneys accepted plea deals and did not face jail time. Reynolds represented himself in the trial last week.
Reynolds contended he did not know his clients were being illegally solicited. Attorneys for Reynolds couldn’t be reached Tuesday.
Reynolds represents House District 27, which covers parts of Houston, Missouri City, Sugar Land, Pearland, Stafford, Fresno and Arcola.