ATLANTA -- Lawrenceville attorney Christopher Adams has asked for his license to be suspended for at least six months, but its up to the Georgia Supreme Court to decide if that's sufficient punishment.
Adams was indicted on 17 counts of false statements and theft by taking in 2008, after billing Gwinnett County for hours he falsely claimed to work while defending indigent clients. In a recent petition to the Supreme Court for voluntary discipline, Adams admitted to doing so.
He also asked the court to suspend his license to practice law for at least six months, in addition to several other caveats.
According to documents, Adams has paid back $10,605 to the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, on behalf of the county's indigent defense program. He's also agreed to a lifetime ban on representing "any indigent defendant that is paid for through any public monies, whether it be local, state or federal funds.
In exchange for all this, criminal charges in Gwinnett County would be dropped.
"If the Supreme Court imposes a sanction of at least 6 months suspension then the criminal case will end," Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter said.
The Supreme Court has the power to ultimately choose the length of any suspension, or to opt for disbarment.
Several local attorneys and Gwinnett judges Mark Lewis and Robert Mock have submitted letters in support of Adams.
"I believe that Chris is still an asset to our bar and I know that he will abide by whatever discipline you deem proper and just," Mock wrote.
Atlanta attorney William C. Head was less enthusiastic in his own letter to the Supreme Court.
"Having worked in the criminal justice system for over three decades, this proposed slap on the wrist is ludicrous and is a shameful recommendation," Head wrote. "It is a disproportionately light sanction for so many repeated, willful, illegal and egregious acts."