RAVENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – A Portage County attorney was suspended after having an affair with a client and then lying to the court.
The Ohio Supreme Court suspended Michale Noble, of Ravenna, for one year, with six months stayed.
The Court said that Noble violated ethics rules.
A complaint was filed against him in June 2021 for action he took between 2018 and 2020.
According to court documents, a woman hired Noble to handle her divorce but within weeks of meeting, Noble and the woman started a sexual relationship that continued for almost two years.
The woman’s husband, who is also a police officer, hired a divorce attorney who asked Noble if he was having an affair with his client and that if he was he should withdraw from the case. Noble denied it, according to court records.
Noble did ultimately withdraw from the case in January 2019. The divorce became final August 2019. Even after that, Noble lied as he was campaigning for Portage County Common Pleas Court judgeship when the issue came up and Noble said that the woman’s ex-husband was wrongly accusing him. Noble was also trying to reconcile with his ex-wife. The couple had been divorced for several years.
Noble’s ex-wife got involved by contacting the woman’s ex-husband who showed her pictures of Noble and the woman together.
Noble and his ex-wife contacted the police station where the ex-husband worked and filed a complaint saying the officer (ex-husband) was wrongly accusing Noble of the affair and that he may be trying to manipulate Noble’s ex-wife into giving him damaging information about Noble.
In the end, the allegations against the officer were dropped and Noble and his ex-wife were charged with falsification and making false alarms, but the charge against Noble was dismissed and his ex-wife pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
In a later hearing when Noble tried to get the record sealed of his dismissed case, he said he did not lie to the police chief but when confronted by the prosecutor, he admitted that he lied in the complaint against the officer.
The professional conduct board found that Noble violated several ethical rules during his encounters with the court and the police chief by making a false statement to a court; engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; and engaging in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law.