A Law Society tribunal decided that a prosecutor living in York Region facing a criminal charge for ticket-fixing can now continue working as a paralegal, but with some restrictions. These restrictions include:
- He or she can practice, but only as an employee or a staff of another licensee.
- All the clients must be informed about the restrictions on his or her practice.
Catherine Petrolo, who went through a similar situation, is free to practice another license. But she must let the clients know about the restrictions she has on her practice. This was according to the decision made by the tribunal.
Frank Alfano, a paralegal who represented Ms. Petrolo was also pleased with the decision. He strongly supported Ms. Petrolo’s case whose paralegal license was placed under temporary suspension. His client was criminally charged after fixing traffic tickets in exchange for a Yorkdale gift card, a tablet and a computer.
According to her criminal defense lawyer, those charges should not be laid in the first place as they are meritless. The decision by the tribunal also agreed that the evidence was weak and that the traffic ticket resolution is not within the norms that are expected.
Ms. Petrolo, a 36-year-old licensed paralegal, was working at the York Region since 2013. Her annual earning was more than $100000. The regional prosecutor’s office fired her in October and was put under investigation for ten months. During the lengthy investigation, Richard Senior, a 44-year-old York Regional police Const was also charged with numerous criminal offenses. Senior was even charged for trafficking cocaine.
Senior’s lawyer John Struthers commented that the charges against Senior and Petrolo were way too exaggerated and pretentious.
Kristina MacDonald, a Law Society discipline paralegal, felt that the actions had to be taken. Suspending or imposing a restriction to Petrolo’s practice was necessary to safeguard the public from harm and keep the law and justice functioning in a way it is supposed to.