Photo courtesy of Capitol Times
Arellano gets reprimand for lying, must pay $10,240.13 for OLR proceeding costs in the professional misconduct case filed by four women, but he will continue to practice law.
By H. Nelson Goodson
March 22, 2013
Madison, WI - On Thursday, the Office of Lawyers Regulation (OLR) confirmed that Attorney Victor Arellano, 67, was disciplined by the State Supreme Court judge for two counts, misrepresenting information (lying) to investigators and for soliciting to represent one of the complainants when she didn't request representation. The OLR case lasted almost 6-years to conclude. Twelve counts against Arellano were dismissed because Statues of Limitations ran out and for other reasons.
Arellano received a public reprimand, must pay $10,240.13 for OLR proceeding costs to be paid within 60 days. The reprimand won't keep Arellano from practicing law.
Arellano was also reprimanded in 2008 for private matter not in relation with this case. He began his law practice on September 27, 1985.
The decision to discipline Arellano stems from his intent to "obstruct the investigation by his misleading and false statements" and "chose to lie and to mislead the investigation by the OLR and the (nine member) district committee," the State Supreme Court decided.
On February 28, 2011, the OLR filed a 14 count misconduct case seeking to revoke Arellano's law license. Arellano was accused by four women, including Marilyn Figueroa who testified that in 2000 he solicited to represent her and then staring up a sexual relationship in violation of attorney's rules of conduct. He also was accused of starting sexual relationships with three other women while representing them in various cases.
Figueroa exposed a relationship with former Mayor John Norquist resulting in his abrupt resignation in 2002. Figueroa sued Norquist for sexual harassment and Arellano represented Figueroa in the case. She was later awarded $375,000 in the case after a settlement was reached.
A second complainant, Natialia Santamaria released the following exclusive statement to Hispanic News Network U.S.A., "I want to acknowledge and thank the hard work of the Office of Lawyer Regulation and District 9 committee for their diligent and hard work on this serious and very complex matter. From beginning to end this process took about 5 years and many pain staking hours of research and investigation on the part of the OLR, I am thankful for their work.
"Although the end result was not the one that I had envisioned, I am aware of how complex this case was; I do feel that the Referee missed some very relevant and important points or downplayed their significance, for that I am disappointed. It is a matter of public record how Arellano stalked and harassed me and members of my family, and made accusations against me that I have always maintained were untruthful. Although the Referee did state that Arellano's actions were "inappropriate and mean spirited" they did not give rise to the level of misconduct, as the victim of these acts, I gravely disagree. I am very pleased, however, that if there was one act to be found in the grievant's favor, it was that Arellano lied to the investigators, a branch of the Supreme Court, and attempted to mislead the process. This significant finding gives credibility to my claims stemming to 2006 that Arellano lied to the authorities when he made false accusations against me and my person. As the complaints stated, "Victor Arellano has had a life long pattern of lying and abusing the process", which included victimizing some of his female clients (all Latinas). The fact that the Referee ruled that there was a Statute of Limitations on these claims does not invalidate the fact that they happened and speaks volumes to his nature and character of Arellano as a man and as an attorney; as a matter of public record, Arellano finally admitted he had a sexual relationship with the 4th grievant, E.W.
"The legal process failed many times in this lengthy drama between Arellano and myself, beginning in 2006 when I couldn't get a Restraining Order against Arellano and found myself instead lectured by the Judge that he "has know Mr. Arellano and his impeccable reputation ... for many years." In the same manner, I found myself hearing the same words by the Madison Police Department and District Attorney's office when they refused to consider that Arellano was lying about his accusations against me, it was always, Arellano's reputation that spoke louder than mine ... a single working mother. It is an interesting note that Arellano had the restraining order removed from CCAP, to this date, no attorney has been able to explain to me how he had that done.
"I am pleased that finally there is a record that clearly states that Arellano lied to authorities and I am pleased that this chapter is finally closed.
"Again I want to thank the OLR investigators and District 9 Committee for their work in their investigations and the putting together of this case. I want to thank Attorney Paul Schwarzenbart for his hard work in presenting our case to the Referee."
The third women, M. Isabel Garcia claimed the same scenario, that Arellano represented her in a divorced case and started up a sexual relationship with her in the Fall of 2005. On July 2006, she became pregnant and had a child with Arellano. Arellano denied the allegation in a court case, but DNA proved he was the actual father.
Garcia was also in the process of getting her legal status under a I-360 petition with the INS (U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services) and Arellano filed the paperwork with the INS. She claimed that Arellano misrepresented information on the I-360 petition filing allowed under an abusive relationship with her husband, a U.S. Citizen. Apparently, Arellano failed to claim that he was the father of their child in the Garcia's INS filing. Garcia didn't realized the information was omitted. When she asked Arellano, he told her that he didn't want to add his child, so that he wouldn't have to pay child support, according to the OLR complaint.
When their relationship went sour, he filed for custody of the child.
Arellano was awarded custody of his son. Garcia is now living in Texas.