Legal experts demand emergency suspension of law license for attorney trying to trade sex for work
UPDATE: A. Wayne Stewart has officially resigned from practicing law.
According to documents from the Louisiana Supreme Court, Stewart has resigned his license in lieu of disciplinary action.
He may no longer practice law in the state of Louisiana.
BATON ROUGE- Two legal experts have called for an emergency suspension of Livingston Parish attorney A. Wayne Stewart after two back-to-back WBRZ reports highlighting allegations he has tried to trade legal advice for sex.
LSU Law professor Ken Levy joined with corruption watchdog Rafael Goyeneche in asking for the suspension. If granted, the suspension would effectively prohibit Stewart from practicing law until the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board can do an investigation into allegations he solicited sex from a client in exchange for free legal work.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit first reported on the allegations and a 20-minute video of one confrontation. Watch the video HERE. Wednesday, more women came forward with similar allegations and spoke with Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto for a follow up report. Click HERE for the second story.
"An emergency suspension sounds right," Levy, the professor, said in a TV report with Nakamoto Thursday. "Let the disciplinary board do an investigation. But, there is significant evidence that he has done this multiple times. He is a danger to prospective clients. They are often vulnerable, and they need an attorney's advice, and he's putting them in a bad position."
Goyeneche, of the New Orleans-based Metropolitan Crime Commission agreed.
"Based on the video that I saw WBRZ air, there is sufficient evidence just with one complainant with that video to issue an emergency suspension," Goyeneche said.
The Metropolitan Crime Commission also answers complaints about injustice in the Baton Rouge area.
In all, nine women came forward alleging similar experiences with Stewart after the initial WBRZ News 2 at 6:00 report earlier in the week. All of them said the encounters and communication were inappropriate but many were too afraid to have their names revealed because of a feeling of cronyism in Livingston Parish where Stewart is believed to be politically connected.
In the shocking video broadcast earlier in the week, Stewart rambles on about wanting sex more than money – and that he can get it.
"Really, I want to f*** you," he told one woman in the video.
Stewart has denied it was him in the video.
"I don't think that's me," Stewart told WBRZ. "I pick and joke, but I don't do sex with clients. I don't do sex with anybody."
As many believe Stewart could continue to put those who are vulnerable at risk, they are pleading with the Louisiana Disciplinary Board to issue that emergency suspension.
"It's off the charts," Goyeneche said. "It's something that's totally unacceptable in any profession. It doesn't matter that you're an attorney. You could be a used car salesman. That is totally inappropriate. Any licensing authority would consider that grounds for revoking a license."
Levy agreed: "There is precedent where lawyers have been disbarred from propositioning clients."
If the LADB issues an emergency suspension, it would have to be signed off by the justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court. The LADB has a policy of not commenting on current cases but did say if circumstances warrant, emergency suspensions can be implemented. If granted, the suspension would remain in effect until an investigation is completed that either clears Stewart or produces findings.
A. Wayne Stewart, highlighted in this report of Livingston Parish, is not the same attorney as one with a similar name who practices in Baton Rouge.