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Texas Bar disciplined PA attorney

 

By Ken Stickney

ken.stickney@panews.com

A Port Arthur city attorney has been disciplined by the Texas Bar Association, drawing a six-month, fully probated suspension that will last through May 31.

A Bar Association panel determined that Gaylyn Leon Cooper, 65, of Port Arthur had not kept a client “reasonably informed” about the status of a case and failed to comply with reasonable requests for information.

The infraction did not involve city of Port Arthur work, City Attorney Val Tezeno said Friday, but involved Cooper’s private practice work.

“He is still licensed, still eligible, still in good standing,” Tezeno said. “It was fully probated.

“We are investigating the issue and monitoring it.”

Tezeno said she could not comment further because the situation involves an employee and would fall under “personnel” matters. But she said Cooper was eligible to work for the city of Port Arthur, that the city took the matter “very seriously” and took personnel action.

She confirmed that she was not aware of a possible suspension or of any infraction or looming Texas Bar penalty before Cooper was hired in 2018.

“Cooper failed to explain matters to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation,” Texasbar.com reported of the case that landed him at odds with the Bar. “Cooper also failed to timely furnish to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel a response to the grievance.”

The Texas Bar reported that Cooper violated three rules and that he was ordered to pay $1,500 in attorney’s fees and direct expenses.

The suspension began Dec. 1.