Updated 4:51 p.m.
The D.C. Court of Appeals issued punishments to two attorneys Thursday in different, highly publicized cases.
A three-judge panel of the court disbarred David Safavian, the former chief of staff of the U.S. General Services Administration who was convicted of obstruction of justice and making false statements in the Jack Abramoff scandal.
The panel concluded Safavian's conduct amounted to “moral turpitude.”
“And, it is well settled that obstruction of justice is inherently a crime of moral turpitude,” the panel wrote.
The court, through a different three-judge panel, also publicly censured Sheryl Robinson Wood, an attorney who was the lover of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
According to the panel's ruling, from late 2003 through 2004, Wood had “undisclosed and personal communications” with Kilpatrick. She retired from her position as federal monitor of the Detroit Police Department in July 2009, after allegations of inappropriate communications with Kilpatrick surfaced.
“Respondent mitigated her conduct by taking full responsibility and fully cooperating with Bar Counsel,” the panel wrote in its ruling. “Moreover, respondent did not have any prior disciplinary actions, her conduct did not result in personal gain or negatively or financially impacted the monitored cases, and no client was harmed by her conduct.”
Neither Wood nor Safavian could be reached for comment. Safavian is currently serving a one-year sentence for his conviction.