Janesville58.1°

Lawyer loses license for two years

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Darryl Enriquez
September 9, 2010
— A Walworth County lawyer with a troubled history of legal misconduct and drug use had his license formally suspended for two years Wednesday by the state Supreme Court.

Stephen M. Compton, 45, formerly of Williams Bay, pleaded guilty last year to felony charges of possession of narcotics and bail jumping and was sentenced to three years probation. A 30-month prison sentence was stayed, provided Compton does not violate probation.


Compton was arrested early last year in the Lake Geneva apartment of Katie Lussenhop, a former Walworth Elementary School teacher. Investigators were watching them for violating her bail on a previous case in which she was to have no contact with the lawyer, according to a criminal complaint.


Luessenhop admitted to snorting cocaine and heroin that night and to buying $3,000 worth of heroin using money she got from Compton, according to the complaint. She was sentenced to a jail term and probation after pleading guilty to felony drug charges and bail jumping.


Supreme Court documents display Compton as a drug addict with multiple disciplinary measures placed against him.


Compton admitted that he committed professional misconduct and agreed to a license suspension of two years, according to court documents.


The suspension is retroactive to March 16, the date his license initially was suspended by the high court.


Compton began his practice in 1992. In 2002, Compton was publicly reprimanded for falsely recording the time he worked on a contingency fee case, according to court records. In 2008, Compton’s license was suspended 60 days for failing to supervise an inmate performing legal work for him and falsely billing the state public defender for work performed by that inmate, according to court records.


In criminal cases against Compton, he was accused of illegally posting Lussenhop’s $10,000 cash bail.


Compton instructed an acquaintance to go to a Delavan hotel conference room, pick up a bag containing $10,000. The bag also had instructions on what to tell police if questioned and an additional $500 for her and Lussenhop to split.


The instructions stated the woman “can never say I bailed her out! Never!”


Court records state aggravating factors in this case were Compton’s prior disciplinary history, the pattern of misconduct, the potential vulnerability of Lussenhop and the harm to her.


Compton was “wholly cooperative in this matter,” including entering into an agreement admitting his misconduct and agreeing to the level of discipline.


Compton could not be reached for comment.



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