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High court reinstates county attorney Layson

Harrison County attorney David Layson is back on the job.
“Most of you are aware that I was suspended from practicing law about two weeks ago,” Layson told the audience at Monday’s meeting of the Harrison County Board of Commissioners. “That has been resolved as of now.
“I apologize to the commissioners,” he said.
“It’s been some 29 years I have represented the county, and it’s always been my philosophy that I should never be the story,” Layson said. “The commissioners should always be the story.
“I apologize for putting them in a difficult spot. Obviously, they had no contribution to the problem … I have assured them I do not intend to put them in this kind of position again, and I hope I don’t put myself in that kind of position again.”
Layson said earlier he thought he had already complied with the Supreme Court’s requirement.
No formal statement was made by the board Monday, and Layson’s apology came after an executive (closed) session.
Commission chair Terry L. Miller said later, “We didn’t have any reason to doubt that,” referring to the reasons behind Layson’s suspension and his reassurance it wouldn’t happen again.
“Dave is a good commissioners’ attorney,” Miller said. “He lets the commissioners do their business and doesn’t offer advice unless he’s asked, and then it’s legal advice.”
Miller said Layson brings a wealth of experience in county government to the table, and he usually doesn’t charge extra fees for work he performs outside the requirements of his annual contract.
Layson’s license to practice law was temporarily suspended recently by the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission for failing to cooperate with the High Court’s investigation of a complaint filed against him. The complaint was made by an ex-client, the specifics of which are confidential, and that complaint is still pending.
Layson’s suspension was lifted in a Certificate of Compliance filed Nov. 27 in the Indiana Supreme Court.
A drunk-driving charge against Layson in May is also pending in Harrison Superior Court. That case has been set for a preliminary hearing before Special Judge Henry Leist next Wednesday. Similar charges against Layson in April 1994 were dismissed in 1995 after he completed a pre-trial diversion program, which is normal in most first-offense cases.
Miller said the commissioners have adopted a “zero tolerance” stance should any alcohol-related offense reoccur.