Submitted February 8, 2017
Certified Report by the Board of Professional Conduct of the
Supreme Court, No. 2015-019.
Plunkett Cooney and Amelia A. Bower; and Eugene P. Whetzel,
Bar Counsel, for relator.
& Associates and Michael E. Murman, for respondent.
1} Respondent, Harry Joseph Jacob III, of Solon,
Ohio, Attorney Registration No. 0008620, was admitted to the
practice of law in Ohio in 1981. Jacob served as a Bedford
Municipal Court judge from 2010 until he resigned in October
2014 after he was found guilty of soliciting prostitution and
falsifying a court record.
2} In March 2016, relator, the Ohio State Bar
Association, filed an amended complaint against Jacob
charging him with judicial and professional misconduct for
the activities that led to his criminal convictions. Jacob
stipulated to most, but not all, of the allegations against
him, and the matter proceeded to a hearing before a
three-member panel of the Board of Professional Conduct. The
board issued a report finding that Jacob engaged in the
charged misconduct and recommending that we sanction him with
a two-year suspension, with the second year stayed. Neither
party has objected to the board's report and
3} Based upon our review of the record, we accept
the board's findings of misconduct and agree with its
4} In April 2014, a Cuyahoga County grand jury
indicted Jacob-while he was serving as a municipal court
judge-on 21 counts of criminal conduct, ranging from felony
tampering-with-evidence and promoting-prostitution charges to
misdemeanor solicitation and falsification offenses. In
September 2014, after a five-day bench trial, the Cuyahoga
County Court of Common Pleas found him guilty of five
misdemeanors: three counts of solicitation under R.C.
2907.24(A)(1), one count of falsification under R.C.
2921.13(A)(11), and one count of falsification under R.C.
2921.13(A)(13). As to the remaining charges, the court either
acquitted Jacob or ordered the charges dismissed. After his
convictions but before appearing for his sentencing, Jacob
resigned from the bench. In October 2014, the court sentenced
him to serve a total of 60 days in jail, pay $2, 500 in
fines, complete a two-year term of probation, and submit to
six months of home monitoring upon his release from jail. He
immediately served his jail time, paid his fine, and later
successfully completed probation and home monitoring.
5} In November 2015, the Eighth District Court of
Appeals affirmed Jacob's convictions. See State v.
Jacob, 2015-Ohio-4760, 50 N.E.3d 279 (8th Dist.) The
court found that there was "sufficient and substantial
evidence that Jacob solicited at least three women to engage
in sexual activity for hire." Id. at ¶ 20.
In describing the evidence against Jacob, the court noted
that he had first responded to an advertisement in which a
woman offered massages, but after they met in person, the
massages evolved into sex for money. Jacob continued to
request the woman's services and met her at various
hotels across the state. He later engaged in three-way sexual
acts with the woman and a second prostitute, asked the second
prostitute to engage in individual sexual acts with him, and
also solicited prostitution services from a third woman.
Id. at ¶ 3-5.
6} The Eighth District also described the evidence
supporting Jacob's falsification convictions, which arose
from an unrelated case pending on his municipal court docket.
As explained by the court of appeals, a defendant, David
Holt, made an unscheduled appearance before Jacob and
requested to plead guilty to a pending domestic-violence
charge. Jacob informed Holt that a domestic-violence
conviction would prevent him from owning a firearm and result
in other collateral consequences. Jacob then sua sponte
reduced the domestic-violence charge to disorderly conduct
and found Holt guilty of the amended charge. Jacob never read
Holt his rights, asked him if he had consulted with an
attorney, or heard from the alleged victim. Further, Jacob
amended the charge without the city prosecutor's presence
or consent, and he signed and journalized an entry that
falsely indicated that the prosecutor had authorized the
change. Id. at ¶ 6-10, 22-24.
7} In his appeal of the falsification convictions,
Jacob admitted that he had signed an inaccurate entry but
argued that he did not actually know that the entry was false
because he had merely signed a boilerplate form. Id.
at ¶ 10, 22, 24. The Eighth District, however,
"emphatically reject[ed] this claim, " concluding,
The facts establish that he was fully aware of his
duplicitous actions and tried to hide them. Jacob knew that
the journal entry was false because he was the one who
changed it; he changed the entry to make it appear that the
prosecutor authorized the amendment to the original charge,
and then he signed off on the entry. This clearly