Louisiana Record

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Deferred 2-year suspension recommended for Lake Charles attorney over 2017 drug arrest


By Karen Kidd | Nov 5, 2019

Courtroom sweep

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Lake Charles attorney Fred Cleveland LeBleu III faces a possible fully deferred suspension following a recommendation issued Oct. 31 by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee over his 2017 marijuana and cocaine arrest.

"It is the recommendation of this committee that a suspension of two years, fully deferred, be imposed on Mr. LeBleu, with the following stipulations," LADB hearing committee No. 31 said in its 10-page recommendation. "That Mr. LeBleu continue his participation in and complete the judges and lawyers assistance program and that Mr. LeBleu be assessed with all costs of this process."

The recommendation was signed Oct. 31 by committee chair V. Ed McGuire III and was issued the same day. Attorney member Loreta L. Middleton and public member R. Reed Mendelson Jr. concurred in the recommendation.

LeBleu filed an answer to the charge in October 2018 in which he admitted to the allegations against him.

LeBleu was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 10, 2003, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s website. LeBleu appears to have no prior history of discipline in Louisiana.

LeBleu self reported his December 2017 arrest for possession of marijuana and cocaine, according to the recommendation.

"The district attorney for Calcasieu Parish recused himself from the criminal prosecution of [LeBleu] and the matter was taken up by the district attorney in Allen Parish," the recommendation said. "There [LeBleu] was offered and he has accepted a pretrial intervention program in lieu of criminal prosecution of the charges filed against him."

LeBleu's self reporting of his alleged misconduct, required under rules of professional conduct, and his testimony impressed the hearing committee.

"The committee was impressed by the demeanor, remorsefulness and sincerity expressed by Mr. LeBleu at the hearing," the recommendation said.

LeBleu’s efforts at recovery since his arrest, including an in-house treatment program, have been exemplary, according to the recommendation.

“Mr. LeBleu’s actions since his violation have been exactly what we want to encourage from a fellow member of our profession,” the recommendation said. “We believe that Mr. LeBleu’s change is genuine and intend through our sanction herein to provide him with additional encouragement to succeed while setting in place an appropriate punishment should be not complete this process.”

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Louisiana State Bar AssociationLouisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board

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