ARDC denies Hildebrand's petition for reinstatement

By Ann Knef | May 18, 2009

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission has denied Granite City attorney Thomas Hildebrand's petition for reinstatement to practice law.

Hildebrand, 57, was suspended March 20, 2006, after he was found by the Illinois Supreme Court to have engaged in misconduct by representing two criminal defendants who had conflicting interests; engaging in dishonesty and deceit by making false statements to an assistant state's attorney, court personnel, sheriff's personnel, and to his client; and by talking with a criminal defendant whom he knew was represented by another attorney, without obtaining permission from the other attorney to do so.

Hildebrand was previously disciplined for similar misconduct in 2002 and 2005.

The Illinois Supreme Court in 2006 ordered Hildebrand suspended from the practice of law for one year and until further order of the Court.

A hearing on Hildebrand's petition for reinstatement was held Nov. 18 and 19, 2008, in Springfield.

The hearing panel, which released its opinion May 6, consisted of John L. Gilbert, chair, Judith N. Lozier, lawyer member, and Pamela Hammond-McDavid, public member.

Hildebrand was represented by Eric D. Gruber and William J. Harte. The ARDC administrator was represented by Denise Church.

"The Petitioner in this case has not met his burden of proof and has not shown that he is rehabilitated," the panel wrote. "We find no factual basis upon which to conclude that the Petitioner has changed, or is likely to change, so that he would not engage in ethical misconduct were he to be reinstated to the practice of law."

Hildebrand served as a Madison County associate judge from 1980 to 1985.

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