Wayne Bryant, a former New Jersey state senator convicted on federal fraud and bribery charges, was formally disbarred this morning by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Although Bryant spent his career in New Jersey, both in public service and as an attorney with Zeller & Bryant in Cherry Hill, N.J., he had been a member of the D.C. Bar since 1978. In an order (PDF) released today, the appeals court found that Bryant had committed "crimes of moral turpitude" and should be disbarred.
Bryant was indicted in 2007 on charges of fraud, mail fraud and bribery, along with R. Michael Gallagher, the former dean of the School of Osteopathic Medicine of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The two were accused of orchestrating a quid pro quo arrangement where Bryant would get a "low show" job at the school in exchange for helping to funnel state funds to the university.
Following an eight-week trial in 2008, according to court records, a New Jersey federal jury found Bryant guilty on all counts and Gallagher guilty of all but one of the counts. The two unsuccessfully moved for acquittal and then unsuccessfully appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which affirmed the judgment last August.
Bryant's membership to the D.C. Bar was suspended in 2009 for failing to pay dues, but he was still required to report his convictions to the D.C. appeals court and the Board on Professional Responsibility. He failed to do so, but the Office of Bar Counsel filed a notice with the court in June 2010.
In Sept. 2010, the board found (PDF) that Bryant had committed crimes of moral turpitude and should be disbarred. In today's order, Judges John Fisher and Corinne Beckwith, and Senior Judge John Steadman, agreed and ordered disbarment.
Bryant is serving a four-year prison sentence.