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Bemidji lawyer gets disciplined for harboring fugitive

Posted by: Jane Friedmann under Businesses in hot water, Whistleblower Updated: May 1, 2013 - 10:38 AM

A Bemidji lawyer who harbored a fugitive and lied to police about it had her license to practice law placed on administrative probation last week by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

According to a petition filed with the court by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, Amber Julie Ahola was contacted by a client after the client absconded from a court-ordered supervised release facility. The client, John Jerrod Jones, had been released from prison and was serving the final 90 days of a sentence for felony assault of a police officer causing bodily harm or throwing or transferring bodily fluids or feces, according to court records.
 
Ten days after entering the Brainerd Regional Human Services Center, where he was to serve his supervised release, he left and called to ask Ahola for a ride, the petition stated.
 
Ahola picked Jones up in Brainerd and dropped him off in Bemidji, though she "was aware of the length of his sentence and should have realized that he had absconded from Four Winds [Lodge Treatment Program]" at the Brainerd center.
 
Later Jones asked Ahola to help him turn himself in, the petition said.
 
Ahola failed to notify police that Jones had escaped, contacted her, wanted to turn himself in and would be arriving at her house, according to the petition.
 
Law enforcement got a tip that Jones could be found at Ahola's house and when a deputy knocked and asked, Ahola twice said Jones was not there. When the deputy threatened to get a search warrant and mentioned the possibility Ahola could be charged with a crime, she admitted Jones was there.
 
Ahola admitted the allegations of the petition. She is on probation for two years and must pay a $900 fine. While on probation she must cooperate with the office in its efforts to monitor her or investigation allegations. She must also follow the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct, the order stated.
 
Are you wondering whether a certain lawyer has ever been disciplined by the state? Click here.

 

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