Fmr. asssistant state's attorney faces ARDC investigation - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Fmr. asssistant state's attorney faces ARDC investigation

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Despite the video, Sarah Naughton was acquitted in a criminal trial. However now, she is facing a different judgment – this time from her peers.

People might remember the viral video of then-Assistant State's Attorney Sarah Naughton outside a Northside lingerie store in 2012.

Store employees called police after they said a heavily intoxicated Naughton caused a commotion in the store, flashed her badge and then bit a security worker.

Inside the police car, Naughton is caught on camera wriggling out of her handcuffs, slamming her foot against the window and taking a swing at an officer.

Despite all the video evidence, a Cook County judge acquitted Naughton and her boyfriend of all charges a few months later -- a move that stunned the police who handled the case.

Naughton was set to return to her job as a Cook County prosecutor until FOX 32 obtained the police car video. State's Attorney Anita Alvarez fired her the same day.

Now, FOX 32 has learned Naughton is facing another legal hurdle.

The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission -- a state agency which oversees attorneys -- conducted its own investigation and has now filed a complaint against Naughton, charging her with committing criminal acts that "...reflect adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer."

While that seems to be at odds with the not guilty verdict, former DePaul Law Professor Len Cavise said there's a different standard.

"As you know the burden of proof at a criminal trial is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. And in an ARDC hearing the burden is clear and convincing evidence. There's a big difference," Cavise said.

Naughton's attorney denies the majority of the ARDC's findings.

"I can't comment on the ARDC's reasons for bringing the charges. However, we want it noted that she was acquitted after a lengthy criminal trial," Samuel J. Manella told FOX 32's Dane Placko over the phone.

He said Naughton is now practicing law with her father, who is a former top administrator in the State's Attorney's office.

The owner of the Northside lingerie store had some choice words for the ARDC action.

"Kind of poetic justice for me at the end of the day. Because we all knew -- everybody knew she was wrong, but she beat it. She beat it the Chicago way. And now the state of Illinois will do something," said Taboo Tabou owner Mark Thomas.

What the state could do ranges from pulling Naughton's law license, down to a simple letter of reprimand. A hearing has been scheduled for this fall.

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