The Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office is investigating whether an assistant solicitor was working as a defense attorney and a prosecutor simultaneously, Channel 2 Action News reported.
Investigators have told a Gwinnett County judge that Greg McKeithen may have used resources that are only supposed to be available to prosecutors in order to help clients he represented as a defense attorney, a Hall County search warrant says.
No charges have been filed. McKeithen told Channel 2 that he has done nothing wrong and that he was not hired as a defense attorney while employed as a prosecutor.
McKeithen was hired to be an assistant solicitor in Gwinnett County in early 2019. The solicitor’s office prosecutes misdemeanor crimes, and assistant solicitors are barred from serving as a defense attorney during their employment. A defendant in Hall County told a judge he’d hired McKeithen as a defense attorney in May, spurring an investigation.
After investigators seized McKeithen’s cell phones and read text messages, they saw McKeithen had accessed a computer network on his phone that is only accessible by prosecutors. Investigators believe McKeithen was using the network to look up information about a case on which he was serving as defense counsel. An ensuing investigation found that McKeithen may have done the same with 16 other cases, District Attorney Danny Porter told Channel 2.
“This is the first time I've been asked to look at possible criminal conduct by a prosecutor,” Porter told Channel 2.
Working as a prosecutor and defense attorney at the same time would fall under the misdemeanor offense of unlawfully practicing law. But accessing the database to use information as a defense attorney potentially carries felony charges: computer trespass or computer-related crime, Porter said.
The investigation is ongoing.
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