Shreveport attorney and assistant U.S. attorney C. Mignonne Griffing has been suspended six months following an Oct. 18 Louisiana Supreme Court disciplinary proceeding for failing to disclose an intimate relationship with an FBI agent.
The FBI agent was frequently the lead investigator in criminal cases Griffing handled but she did not disclose that information to defendants in those cases, according to the high court's 19-page disciplinary proceeding. "While his testimony at trial was not consistently required, the FBI agent was often the principal witness in grand jury presentations and at various hearings where respondent sponsored his testimony on behalf of the prosecution," the proceeding said. "[Griffing] and the FBI agent worked to keep their relationship confidential."
The state supreme court handed down a year-and-a-day suspension, with all but six months deferred, followed by one year of unsupervised probation, according to the disciplinary proceeding and Griffing also was ordered to pay all costs and expenses.
In his statement of dissent included in the disciplinary proceeding, justice Greg G. Guidry said he would have given Griffing a fully deferred six months suspension and one year of probation.
Griffing has been an assistant U.S. attorney for Louisiana's Western District, Shreveport Division, since 1990, according to the disciplinary proceeding.
He was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 6, 1989, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar's website. Griffing had no other discipline before the state bar, according to the disciplinary proceeding.
One of the legal matters cited in the disciplinary proceeding was her prosecution of Ouachita Parish Sheriff Royce Edward Toney, who was arrested in February 2012 on conspiracy and other charges. In March 2013, Toney filed a complaint against Griffing
In December 2016, a state bar hearing committee recommended Griffing be suspended for six months and be required to take an additional 40 hours of continuing legal education.
In May the office of disciplinary counsel (ODC) recommended a fully deferred one-year suspension, one year of unsupervised probation and that she take an additional 20 hours of continuing legal education. Griffing "made a full and free disclosure to the ODC, exhibited a cooperative attitude during the proceedings and that she is remorseful," the ODC recommendations said.