Lake Stevens attorney resigns after accusations of misconduct

LAKE STEVENS — A longtime attorney here on Tuesday resigned from practicing law in lieu of discipline over allegations that he repeatedly mishandled clients’ money.

S. Daniel Campbell had been an attorney since 1992, focusing primarily on civil cases. He turns 52 this month.

The Washington State Bar Association in August accused him of repeated instances of misconduct, including use of client money to pay his own expenses. That could be theft, bar association investigators concluded.

Campbell opted to resign from the bar association instead of challenging the allegations.

“I am aware of the alleged misconduct stated in disciplinary counsel’s statement but, rather than defend against the allegations, I wish to permanently resign” from the bar, he said in paperwork memorializing the agreement.

The allegations surfaced after the bar association examined Campbell’s accounts while investigating a client’s complaint about how he handled settlement money in an automobile accident.

Bar association investigators not only found Campbell’s books in disarray but client funds being commingled with his own and used to pay personal bills, including rent, season tickets for the University of Washington Huskies, plus phone and grocery expenses, documents say.

Reached Thursday, Campbell said he had disputed the allegations made by bar association investigators and he had evidence to refute them. He said he opted to resign because he decided to end his legal practice for personal reasons.

“I was fully prepared to contest the allegations set forth by the bar,” he said.

Debra Carnes, the bar association’s chief communications officer, said she could not discuss whether findings about Campbell had been shared with police and prosecutors. The bar refers results of its disciplinary investigations to law enforcement on a case-by-case basis, she said.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@heraldnet.com.

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