On Tuesday, September 16, Attorney Ian N. Friedman filed a civil action on behalf of his client, Attorney Christopher Bucio, alleging that the Miami County Prosecutor's Office has a conflict of interest in the ongoing investigation of Roberts, Kelly, & Bucio, LLP, where Bucio is a partner.
The action was filed against Prosecutor Anthony Kendell, who leads the county prosecutor's office and also recently faced off against Bucio in the murder trial of Patrick McGail. The action alleges that there is a conflict of interest in the investigation being conducted by the county prosecutor's office.
On August 28, Bucio learned that a former associate of his firm had allegedly used firm money by illegal means. Roberts, Kelly, & Bucio, LLP reported the alleged crime to Troy Police Department. On September 9, four days after Bucio filed a motion to reconsider the previous motion for mistrial, Kendell and the county prosecutor's office obtained a search warrant to seize the firm's files of the McGail trial and other materials. According to Bucio's attorneys, the former associate was interviewed by police in order to obtain information against Bucio, the firm, and McGail.
Bucio claims that Kendell is conducting the investigation in an attempt to preserve the McGail trial's conviction by undermining Bucio's motions to reconsider the verdict. Bucio filed a motion for mistrial and a later motion for reconsideration. Judge Christopher Gee denied both motions. Bucio has now filed a motion to delay McGail's sentencing, claiming that because the case file and other documents were seized, he cannot adequately prepare for the sentencing schedule to take place on September 29.
The action would prohibit the county prosecutor's office from investigating the case against Bucio, issue injunctions barring prosecutors from inspecting and/or copying any content of seized documents, and appoint a special prosecutor to the case. Kendell states that he has no conflict, and that seized documents are being handled by a special master appointed to review them. Kendell asserts that the prosecutor's office, law enforcement, or anyone else has looked at the files. He also maintains that the special master is an unbiased third-party investigator from Montgomery County.