Dear General Holder,
I am writing you concerning the plight of Attorney Lanre Amu. Mr. Amu is a ‘person of color’ who happens to be an attorney. His origin is Kenya.
Mr. Amu called me today to discuss his problems with Mr. Larkin and the IARDC. Briefly, Mr. Amu indicates that he was disturbed by some events that took place in the Courts of Cook County, Illinois and was rather vocal concerning his unhappiness. He was not held in contempt of court for his statements but he did receive a IARDC complaint against him. In a highly unusual hearing board without investigating if the statements made by Mr. Amu were true or untrue, but assuming instead that they were untrue because they were intemperate recommended suspension of his license.
A review board petition was filed; however, the IARDC took an unusual position in that it sought and obtained the suspension of Mr.Amu’s license in the interim.
While some of the statements made by Mr. Amu are troubling, about a decade ago some similar statements were made concerning 15 sitting judges by the then United States Attorney and a gaggle of lawyers including myself. We accused some judges of soliciting bribes and other serious crimes and ultimately the Federal Court sent some of the judges to jail.
I am not a judge or a trier of fact, but under Illinois Law 735 ILCS 110/5, the First Amendment, Article 1 of the Illinois Constitution and a historical tradition that goes back several hundred years the right of Mr. Amu to speak out is absolute. The recent cases of Alvarez, Brown, Citizens United, Snyder all attest to this fact. However, as it does not appear that Mr. Amu did anything other than exercise his First Amendment Rights the over-kill exhibited by the IARDC needs an immediate investigation by the Justice Department.
Mr. Amu’s problems do not fall into the ‘elder cleansing’ category, but, they appear to fall into the quagmire of possible racial politics. Historically the mere fact that a citizen had a skin of a darker hue was ‘grounds’ for intolerable discriminatory practices. Mr. Amu is too proud to make this observation; however, as a lawyer who has practiced law for more than half a century and lived through the 1960’s my paranoia gene is activated. How is it that it is such an emergency to take Mr. Amu’s license away from him prior to the review panel examining the hearing board’s extra-ordinary decision in which IARDC assumes jurisdiction that was not delegated to them. Why is it necessary for any citizen – including Mr. Amu to be repentant for exercising his First Amendment Rights?
I know nothing of the facts of Mr. Amu’s complaints concerning the Judges of Cook County. I know nothing about his pleadings except that I have been informed that he was not sanctioned pursuant to Rule 137. (I did not see that the hearing panel found that he was sanctioned). I do not see that any defamation suits were filed against him, nor do I read the one or more of the judges was called to testify under oath to deny the charges. I am blinded by the fact that an American who happens to have a darker hue to his skin than I is being punished for speaking out.
As an American I call upon you as Attorney General of the United States of America to do an HONEST complete and comprehensive investigation as to 1) whether Mr. Larkin and the IARDC have jurisdiction to regulate the free speech of attorneys, 2) whether attorneys are second class citizens, 3) whether there is a racial component in the prosecution of Mr. Amu, and 4) if Mr. Amu’s civil rights protected by 42 USCA 1981, 42 USCA 1982 and 42 USCA 1983 have been violated.
For the record Mr. Larkin and the IARDC have indicated that they believe that my writing you this letter is unethical and I also am being prosecuted. As an American citizen and a citizen of the state of Illinois I believe it is my duty to bring the Amu case to your attention (and that of other law enforcement authority). Dr. King pointed out that everything that Hitler did was legal! Americans do not wish to wait until it is legal to assault our first amendment rights.
Thank you for your courtesy and prompt defense of liberty!
[nb – as the Supreme Court of the United States has pointed out – Mr. Larkin, Mr. Ditkowsky, et al have not been delegated the authority to interfere with the Free Speech of other citizen and political and content related speech are absolute rights’