Attorney Who Tipped Off Tressel Faces Misconduct Charges


UPDATED: Tuesday June 14, 2011 6:51 PM

A complaint has been filed against the attorney whose e-mails to Jim Tressel sparked an investigation into the Ohio State football program and players' involvement with the owner of a west side tattoo parlor.

According to the complaint filed by the Ohio Supreme Court's Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Chris Cicero violated the attorney-client privilege when he shared information about the players with Tressel.

Cicero became aware that current players were selling signed memorabilia in exchange for free or reduced-price tattoos after meeting with the tattoo shop owner, Edward Rife.   Rife contacted Cirero for possible representation in April 2010 after his home and business were raided during a drug-trafficking investigation.

SPECIAL SECTIONS:  Ohio State Investigation | Ohio State Football | ONLINE EXTRAS:  Read The Complaint  | See Tressel E-Mails

Rife has since pleaded guilty to charges and faces up to 40 years in prison.

During a news conference earlier this year, Tressel admitted receiving and exchanging e-mails with Cicero.  He drew criticism for not passing the information along to his superiors or to NCAA compliance staff.

"Admittedly, I probably did not give as much thought to the NCAA," Tressel said.  "I definitely didn't move forward with this information to anyone simply because in my mind I didn't know who best it would be.  I learned that I probably should have gone to the top legal counsel at the university and perhaps gain the protection you might need in the process."

Cicero, whose practice was suspended over misconduct for a year in 1997, did not immediately return 10TV's phone calls seeking comment on Monday.

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