More corruption with the State Bar of Arizona, this time protecting a sexual predator
By Rachel Alexander
There is an effort underway around the country in many states to dismantle state bars. Over half of them are mandatory, operating as unions with a monopoly over the practice of law. This has led to massive corruption. The left controls the state bars, and uses them to target conservative attorneys. They also protect their own.
Michelle Flick was the victim of a sexual predator, but because he worked for the State Bar of Arizona, he was protected. Flick met Hal Nevitt through a recommendation. She had a friend who worked for an alcoholic attorney. The friend was very concerned about her boss, who had several DUIs and was frequently driving drunk during the day while working.
Flick asked around and was told she should contact Nevitt about it, who was the director of the bar’s Member Assistance Program. Nevitt is a licensed clinical social worker and substance abuse counselor. The MAP program deals with attorneys who have substance abuse or mental problems. It requires them to undergo mental health treatment in order to keep their licenses to practice law. Arizona Attorneys Against Corrupt Regulation has reported on the abuses of this program. It seems like a stretch to get the bar involved with health issues.
Nevitt previously served time in prison for drug trafficking. While there, he was given three compassionate leaves from prison. Prosecutors say he must have known someone to be given all that special treatment.
Nevitt took a liking to Flick, and asked her if she wanted to work for him on an as-needed basis. Since Flick received government assistance, he told her he would pay her under the table.
Before she started work, he asked her a bunch of questions that he said were necessary, such as whether she had ever been sexually abused. He approached her and tried to kiss her. She was appalled because he’s married.
At one point, he came over to her house. He took her into her bedroom. He pulled her hair and made her perform a sex act on him.
Nevitt started stalking her; driving down her street, sending her emails and calling her (she wouldn’t answer). She notified the Arizona Bar about the sexual assault. John Furlong, the bar’s General Counsel/Deputy Executive Director at the time, told her the bar doesn’t need her help and hung up on her.
Flick reported the sexual assault to the police. Nothing happened. She filed a complaint with the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. They covered for him, saying they wouldn’t do anything since the police didn’t. She contacted the governor’s office. A stafffer for then-Governor Jan Brewer told her Brewer couldn’t get involved becuse it would be political suicide.
Finally, at an AzBBHE meeting, she asked why Nevitt wasn’t charged with sexual assault. She had recordings of him, so he finally got busted for a HIPAA violation. But he merely had to take a remedial course and pay a fine which was deferred.
Another attorney came forward and filed a complaint with AzBBHE against Nevitt for sexual assault. She was disbarred after that. Coincidence? She doesn’t think so. Another woman contacted Flick and told her he’d sexually assaulted her. AZAACPR reports that Nevitt “has been the subject of repeated agency complaints and other reports to civil and criminal authorities for sexual misconduct.”
For awhile, the bar’s disciplinary judge, William O’Neil, was using Nevitt for assistance. He essentially delegated judicial authority to him. The bar wrote in its monthly magazine, "The MAP director will have discretion to reduce Respondent's probation to one year." Another order gave Nevitt the discretion to require an attorney to wear an ankle bracelet. O’Neil has his own extensive history of corruption. AZAACPR has documented much of it.
Then Flick got a request from the big law firm Snell & Wilmer. The bar hired them to investigate her claims. Finally, the bar fired Nevitt as MAP director, However, Flick believes they continue to use him as a contractor. AZAACPR says if you call MAP saying you are an attorney who was referred there, you will be given the contact information for Nevitt’s private company.
Flick believes that Nevitt had dirt on so many people such as O’Neil they had to protect him. For example, Flick was told by a knowledgeable party that Nevitt knew O’Neil was addicted to pain pills. Many believe that O’Neil, a Democrat, was put in his position as disciplinary judge since he would throw the book at conservative attorneys, while protecting favored friends of the bar — who are almost all Democrats. O’Neil is in part untouchable since his attorney is Stanley Feldman, a former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice who was very liberal.
Flick finally filed a lawsuit against Nevitt. He was ordered by the judge to get a medical examination. He refused to go, probably because Flick could describe his genitalia. They eventually settled the lawsuit out of court.
Flick worries that Nevitt’s predatory behavior will continue. He currently works in rehab centers. The kind of women he is treating aren’t likely to go to the police to report him.
Unfortunately, the Arizona Bar is powerful and attorneys are terrified to take it on, for fear of losing their bar licenses. One former member of the bar’s board of governors wrote an article for Forbes documenting some of the abuses. Within two hours, the bar contacted Forbes and threatened them into taking it down. That attorney’s bar license is now suspended.
The bar needs to be dismantled and converted into a voluntary bar. Its disciplinary function should be removed and put under the Arizona Supreme Court. The bar has demonstrated too many times that it is a good old boys’ club of progressives, who target conservatives and protect their own.
Flick testified at the Arizona Legislature in front of an ad hoc committee that had been set up to analyze dismantling the bar. But unfortunately, even though legislation has been introduced every year for several years now, the bar has been able to stop it from going through due to extensive lobbying. No attorney in the legislature dares vote for it. Until this important legislation passes, the bar shows no signs of discontinuing its abuses of power.