SIDNEY — A seven-year legal battle came to an end on Friday in Shelby County Common Pleas Court when Troy lawyer Christopher R. Bucio was sentenced.
The 37-year-old Troy resident, a former partner of Roberts, Kelly & Bucio, LLP, (now called Roberts and Kelly), was given five years of supervised community control, and a $5,000 fine for one count of unauthorized use of property, a felony of the fourth-degree.
Bucio took farmland owned by a Shelby County woman as payment for her legal representation, sold the land and kept all the proceeds. Those funds have been returned to the victim in full.
He entered a guilty plea to the charge in November and the Ohio Supreme Court suspended him from the practice of law for an interim period last week.
In court Friday, the highest possible sentence was asked for Bucio by the victim’s attorney and the special prosecutor from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
Judge Joseph Timothy Campbell, a retired judge of the Greene County Court of Common Pleas, said before he handed down the sentence that instances like this look bad for the whole legal system.
“I do not look forward to these circumstances. They depend on you and as a result — when this happens — that trust is violated,” Campbell said.
Bucio said this experience has humbled him and shown him what’s important. He also apologized to the victim.
“I’ve learned a lot in the seven years and clearly I would have done things differently. I’m very regretful,” Bucio said.
His ability to practice law in the future will depend on the outcome of a disciplinary investigation and disciplinary proceedings through the Ohio Supreme Court.
Bucio has an undergraduate degree from Bluffton University in criminal justice and sociology, and earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He was sworn into the Ohio Bar Association in 2003.
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