Submitted August 6, 2019
Certified Report by the Board of Professional Conduct of the
Supreme Court, No. 2018-044.
Beckman Weil Shepardson, L.L.C., and Kristen M. Myers;
Jennifer K. Nordstrom; and Edwin W. Patterson III, Bar
Counsel, for relator.
Virginia M. Riggs-Horton, pro se.
1} Respondent, Virginia M. Riggs-Horton, of
Bellevue, Kentucky, Attorney Registration No. 0085302, was
admitted to the practice of law in Ohio in 2009. She is also
admitted to the practice of law in Kentucky.
2} In a September 4, 2018 complaint, relator,
Cincinnati Bar Association, charged Riggs-Horton with
professional misconduct arising from her misdemeanor
conviction for promoting contraband at a detention center.
The parties submitted stipulations of facts and misconduct
and agree that a fully stayed six-month suspension is the
appropriate sanction in this case.
3} The Board of Professional Conduct found that
Riggs-Horton committed an illegal act that adversely
reflected on her honesty or trustworthiness, recommended that
a second alleged rule violation be dismissed, and agreed that
a six-month suspension stayed in its entirety is the
appropriate sanction for Riggs-Horton's misconduct. We
adopt the board's findings of misconduct and recommended
4} In 2017, Riggs-Horton was in a romantic
relationship with Gary Chandler. Chandler had been in and out
of prison during the course of their relationship.
5} That August, Chandler was incarcerated in the
Campbell County, Kentucky jail for a parole violation.
Riggs-Horton talked to Chandler on the phone daily, had
personal visits with him at the jail twice a week, and
visited him in her professional capacity as needed. During
Chandler's incarceration, he was moved to the
restricted-custody section of the jail.
6} Riggs-Horton had never been to the
restricted-custody section before she made her first
professional visit to Chandler there on August 19, 2017. At
the time of her visit, she was not aware of the
facility's rules-one of which specified that money could
be given to a prisoner only through a guard. During that
visit, Chandler asked Riggs-Horton whether she could give him
some cash to purchase items from the facility's vending
machines and stated that he was allowed to have up to $100 in
$1 and $5 bills. Riggs-Horton replied that she had only two
$5 bills and a $1 bill, and Chandler instructed her to hand
him the money under the table. He explained that he would not
receive the money for several days if it went through the
proper channels. Video surveillance showed Riggs-Horton
passing something to Chandler under the table.
7} After the meeting, guards searched Chandler for
contraband and discovered smokeless tobacco but did not find
the cash that Riggs-Horton had given him. Riggs-Horton was
detained upon her return to the jail a few days later and was
later charged with a violation of Ky.Rev.Stat.Ann.
520.060(1)(a), which provides, "A person is guilty of
promoting contraband in the second degree when he knowingly
introduces contraband into a detention facility or a
8} Riggs-Horton denied passing Chandler smokeless
tobacco but admitted that she had passed him contraband in
the form of $11. Through counsel, Riggs-Horton proposed that
she be permitted to enter into a diversion program on
conditions, including that she perform community service,
offer a free divorce clinic to inmates at the jail,
voluntarily suspend her criminal practice for three months,
and make certain donations of ...