OPINION AND ORDER
D. MINTON, JR. CHIEF JUSTICE
Stacy Fink received a two-count charge of
professional misconduct stemming from two separate felony
drug offense convictions in Clark County, Indiana and
Harrison County, Indiana. Fink was convicted in both cases
and was sentenced to eight years and one and one-half years
in prison, respectively, to run consecutively. The KBA charge
accuses Fink of violating SCR 3.130(8.4)(b). In the face of
this charge, Fink moves this Court to enter an order
accepting her Motion for Consensual Discipline, and the KBA
makes no objection to the motion.
KBA FILE 20109.
first of the two-count KBA charge relates to a 2011 Harrison
County, Indiana, criminal case. On August 15, 2011, a
confidential informant working for the local Sheriffs
Department conducted a controlled drug buy from Jeremy
Ripperdan, Fink's then-boyfriend, which took place at
Fink's house. After the transaction, a search warrant was
executed on Fink's house, and equipment used in the
manufacture of methamphetamine was discovered. Both Fink and
Ripperdan were arrested.
was charged in Harrison County, Indiana with dealing
methamphetamine, a Class B felony; possession of
methamphetamine, a Class D felony; maintaining a common
nuisance, a Class D felony; unlawful possession of syringe, a
Class D felony; possession of two or more pre-cursors, a
Class D felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia and
possession of marijuana, both Class A misdemeanors.
August 20, 2015, Fink was found guilty of all counts by a
jury and was sentenced to serve eight years in the Indiana
Department of corrections. Fink exhausted the appeals process
and her conviction was upheld. Fink's sentence was
modified in December of 2016 so that the remaining balance
would be served on home detention, which concluded on
February 21, 2018. Fink remains on probation, which will
conclude on February 21, 2020.
second count relates to a 2014 Clark County, Indiana,
criminal case in which Fink was indicted for drug-related
offenses while she was awaiting trial on the Harrison County
charges. In June of 2014, the Jeffersonville Police
Department executed a search warrant on a house in which
Ripperdan, who had recently reconnected with Fink, was
temporarily living. After discovering what was believed to be
an active meth lab in a detached garage, officers were
informed by a neighbor that a cooler in the backyard
contained additional methamphetamine making materials and
that the materials had exploded in the trunk of a car located
in the driveway which belonged to Fink. Officers searched the
trunk and discovered numerous items used to manufacture
acknowledged that she should not have had contact with
Ripperdan, given the conditions of her bond in the Harrison
County case. She maintains, however, that she was letting
Ripperdan borrow her car at the time the items were
discovered and that she was unaware that Ripperdan was using
her car to transport drug-related items.
17, 2014, Fink was indicted on charges of manufacturing
methamphetamine, a Class B felony; possession of
methamphetamine precursors, a Class D felony; and Maintaining
a Common Nuisance, a Class D felony. However, Fink pleaded
guilty to one count of maintaining a common nuisance, and the
remaining counts were dismissed by agreement. Fink was
sentenced to one and one-half years' incarceration, which
was later modified to nine months of home incarceration, set
to conclude in November of 2018.
of her August 20, 2015, conviction, Fink has been on
automatic temporary suspension from the practice of law in
Kentucky. Fink was placed on temporary suspension in Indiana
on January 8, 2015, and resigned from the Indiana Bar in
August of 2015.
counts of the KBA charge allege violations of SCR
3.130(8.4)(b), which states that "It is professional
misconduct for a lawyer to commit a criminal act that
reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty,
trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects . .
. ." Fink violated this rule, in both counts, when she
committed the criminal acts that led to her convictions in
both the Harrison County and Clark County cases.
admits that she is guilty of the above ethical violations and
moves this Court to accept her Motion for Consensual
Discipline. She urges us to enter an Order suspending her
license to practice law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for a
period of five years, retroactive from August 20, 2015, or
until she has satisfied the terms of her criminal probation
in Indiana, whichever occurs first. The KBA has no objection
to Fink's Motion for Consensual Discipline and requests
that we order the proposed discipline.
support of her Motion, Fink has provided proof of significant
mitigating circumstances. Fink has suffered significant
health problems that caused her to undergo numerous and
frequent surgeries spanning from 1995 through March of 2015.
In addition, Fink has shown her commitment to rehabilitation
from drug addiction through a successful treatment program,
her ongoing cooperation with Kentucky Lawyer Assistance
Program ("KYLAP"), and attendance at AA meetings.
Fink has also been consistently employed as a legal ...