John Mlnarik—the attorney who represented disgraced Santa Clara Councilman Dominic Caserta before sexual harassment claims drove him to resign—is barred from practicing law for a year after admittedly fleecing a pair of clients.
The California State Bar Association placed Mlnarik—a former president of the Santa Clara County Bar Association—on a one-year suspension and three-year probation starting Nov. 7 after reviewing two of his cases.
In one instance, Mlnarik charged clients Ludette Storozinski and Kia Freidman for loan modification services he never actually completed. According to state bar records, Mlnarik billed Storozinski’s credit card for nearly $14,000 on July 30, 2016, after she fired him and though he never completed the work.
In the second case, Mlnarik tried to charge $6,200 to a client, Aro Ebenhahn, after he already terminated the attorney’s services. According to the state bar, Mlnarik committed an intention act of “moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption.”
Mlnarik’s penalty reportedly could have been worse, but the state bar considered some “mitigating circumstances,” like his eight-year run in the field without any discipline, his service on various industry association boards and to his church, St. Justin Parish Community, in Santa Clara.
In addition to working for Caserta last year after San Jose Inside/Metro exposed the councilman’s longstanding pattern of alleged sexual misconduct, Mlnarik also represented Shaian Mohammadi, another local politico at odds with this news outlet, in a lawsuit that was ultimately dismissed with prejudice in 2017.
Mlnarik didn’t respond to a call for comment.