NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Kenner attorney John Julius Steger IV is on partially deferred suspension following a May 8 Louisiana Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding over multiple alcohol-related arrests stretching back to 1993.
In its 16-page attorney disciplinary proceeding, the court suspended Steger for 18 months with all but six month deferred, to be followed by five years' unsupervised probation.
The court also ordered Steger to pay costs.
The court's decision followed a recommendation for suspension issued by the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) in December.
"The baseline sanction for respondent’s misconduct is suspension," the state high court's disciplinary proceeding said. "The aggravating and mitigating factors recognized by the board are supported by the record."
Steger was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 11, 1996, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
Steger’s first alcohol-related arrest was in February 1993 during Mardi Gras on charges of disturbing the peace and obscenity that the attorney says ultimately were dismissed but for which records no longer exist, according to the disciplinary proceeding.
Steger was arrested during Mardi Gras in February 2001 and charged with interfering with police and with public nudity, but those charges were dismissed. In October 2002, Steger was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, hit and run driving and failure to use a seatbelt. Steger later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.
The following March, Steger was arrested "after consuming alcohol and Ambien" and charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and exceeding the speed limit, to which he later pled guilty to a reduced charge of reckless operation.
In June 2003, Steger was arrested and charged with simple battery stemming from "an argument with his girlfriend" and that "matter was ultimately dismissed without prosecution."
More than a decade later, Steger was twice arrested over two days in November 2013 for alcohol and Ambien-related episodes, including assaulting a nurse who was trying to treat him for injuries sustained after he drove his car into a tree.
"It was only after these two final incidents in successive days that the matter was reported to the office of disciplinary counsel by the prosecuting authority," the disciplinary proceeding said.