Convicted of five misdemeanor counts of illegally soliciting clients to his personal injury law practice, state Rep. Ron Reynolds is now without a license to practice law.
As Reynolds appeals his convictions, the Texas Supreme Court's Board of Disciplinary Appeals has suspended the Missouri City Democrat's law license, saying it would render a final judgment when the appeals process is done.
The embattled lawmaker has spent years fighting accusations of wrongdoing in his work as an attorney in the Houston area. In November, a Montgomery County jury found him guilty of five barratry counts in an "ambulance-chasing for profit" scheme and sentenced him to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Reynolds attended the April 29 Disciplinary Appeals Board hearing in Austin, in which he asked the board to not suspend his law license while his appeal is pending.
The Tribune's attempts to reach Reynolds for comment were not immediately returned.
This latest string of legal troubles for the three-term lawmaker, which include two separate summary judgments for keeping some or all of the settlement money owed clients, began after the March 1 Democratic primary election in which he failed to avoid a runoff in the race for House District 27 – an area that covers Fort Bend County southwest of Houston.
Reynolds finished first in a four-candidate field, winning 48.5 percent of the vote. He now faces Angelique Bartholomew, a 46-year-old Alabama-transplant who has never run for elected office. She drew 24.1 percent of the primary vote.
Bartholomew has kept busy raising money leading up to the May 24 runoff. Reynolds’ fundraising totals for this filing period remain unclear as he appears to have missed the May 16 filing deadline.
In the latest report, Bartholomew raised $53,460.07 from Feb. 21 to May 14. The largest contributions, totaling $17,005.33, came from Annie’s List — an organization that aims to elect Democratic women to state office.
For the period ending Feb. 20, the last campaign finance report Reynolds filed, he had raised $38,615.00. He faces $30,000 in Texas Ethics Commission fines for delinquent campaign finance filings and another $500 for failing to file his personal financial statement on time.