A former downstate Illinois public defender has been accused of having sexual relations with a client and then lying about it to judges and the state’s attorney disciplinary commission.
The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) earlier this month lodged a complaint against Timothy John Huyett, who worked as Marion County’s lead public defender from 2009 until his April 2013 resignation.
The allegations against Huyett, who previously served stints as Logan County’s top prosecutor, stem from his representation of Shaina Allen.
Huyett, the complaint states, was appointed in January 2011 to represent Allen, who had been convicted of possession of a controlled substance and sentenced to two years of probation in 2010.
After Allen tested positive for opiates, the prosecutor filed a petition to revoke her probation. She was admitted into Marion County’s drug court program in February 2011 with the understanding that if she successfully completed the 30-day program, the petition to revoke her probation would be dismissed.
In September 2011, the ARDC alleges, Huyett started to have sexual relations with Allen while he was representing her. The complaint notes he was 54 and she was 23 when the alleged relationship began.
The prosecutor in February 2012 filed a petition to revoke Allen’s participation in the drug court program after she tested positive for alcohol use, according to the complaint.
The following month, Allen appeared with Huyett in court, where the ARDC states she consented to the revocation of drug court status and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
About a year later, in April 2013, the ARDC asserts that Marion County Circuit Judge Mark Stedelin and Chief Judge S. Gene Schwarm of the Fourth Judicial Circuit confronted Huyett with information they received about his alleged relationship with Allen.
The ARDC claims that Huyett denied having sexual relations with Allen while her case was pending in drug court and told the judges their sexual relationship didn’t begin after she was released from prison in April 2012.
Huyett resigned as Marion County’s public defender about a week after the two judges confronted him about his alleged relationship with Allen, according to the complaint.
The ARDC in May of this year asked Huyett respond to the allegations. Huyett, the complaint states, wrote to the ARDC administrator that same month and stated “At no point did I ever engage in any sexual relationship with Ms. Allen while she was my client in the year 2011 through April 2012."
The disciplinary commission, however, claims that Huyett’s statements were false and that he “knew his statements were false.”
In August, Huyett “appeared with counsel for a sworn statement in the Springfield office of the ARDC and admitted that he had begun his sexual relations with Allen in September 2011,” according to the ARDC.
The commission’s complaint, which was filed Nov. 6 and served Nov. 14, includes two counts.
The first count accuses Huyett of having sexual relations with a client in violation of Rule 1.8(j) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and the second deals with his alleged false statements to the commission, a violation of Rule 8.1(a).
The ARDC also claims Huyett engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in violation of Rule 8.4(c) and failed to withdraw when he should have known continued employment would result in violations of the code in violation of Rule 1.16(a)(1).
The complaint also accuses Huyett of engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice and “conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute.”
Denise Church, counsel at the commission, submitted the complaint on behalf of ARDC Administrator Jerome Larkin.