June 17, 1993
IN RE: VALERIE J. GLOVER-TONWE, RESPONDENT, A MEMBER OF THE BAR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS
Before Terry and Wagner, Associate Judges, and Reilly, Senior Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reilly
On Report and Recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility
REILLY, Senior Judge: The respondent, a member of the bar of this court, as well as a member of the Pennsylvania bar, was convicted in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware on her pleas of guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, and bribery of a public official in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 210(b) & 201(b)(1)(A). United States v. Tonwe, CR 91-21 (March 3, 1992). The Board on Professional Responsibility (the Board) recommends that the respondent be disbarred from the practice of law in the District of Columbia. We accept this recommendation.
These proceedings began when this court received a certified copy of respondent's conviction and, on April 8, 1992, suspended respondent from the practice of law in the District of Columbia and instructed the Board to determine whether the offenses for which respondent had been convicted involved moral turpitude. D.C. Code § 11-2503(a) (1981 & 1992 Supp.). Before the Board had issued its report and recommendation, a certification of respondent's disbarrment "on consent" by an order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania was transmitted to this court. Chief Judge Rogers entered a order dated July 24, 1992, directing the Board to recommend whether reciprocal discipline should be imposed or to proceed de novo pursuant to Rule XI, § 8.
On January 15, 1993, the Board submitted a report finding that the federal offenses for which respondent had been convicted and sentenced, involved moral turpitude per se, and accordingly, recommended that respondent should be disbarred under § 11-2503 (a), (supra) .
The Board's finding with respect to the character of the particular offenses is amply supported by decisions of this court dealing with the identical issue. In re Colson, 412 A.2d 1160, 1164 (D.C. 1979) (en banc). We agree with the Board that the crime of bribery "inherently involves moral turpitude" and therefore triggers automatic disbarment. Id. at 1165-68; see also In re Willcher, 447 A.2d 1198 (D.C. 1982); In re Roberson, 429 A.2d 530 (D.C. 1981) (en banc). We have previously affirmed a Board finding that a conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 201 (c)(1982) for soliciting or receiving a bribe constitutes a crime inherently involving moral turpitude. In re Sucher, No. 85-673 (Order of March 30, 1987). *fn1 See also In re Borders, No. M-122-82 (Order of August 31, 1983). Accordingly, respondent is hereby disbarred from the practice of law in the District of Columbia. *fn2 The disbarrment shall be retroactive to April 8, 1992, the date of her temporary suspension.