Former River Forest attorney disbarred
Updated: January 28, 2013 1:57AM
Former River Forest attorney Bruce Paul Golden has been ordered disbarred by the Illinois Supreme Court.
The justices took the action Nov. 19 after the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission found that Golden had fraudulently obtained $22,830 in financial aid from his daughter’s private school by submitting falsified income tax returns.
According to documents on file with the ARDC, Golden understated his reported adjusted gross income by as much as 90 percent over a four-year period in order to qualify for financial aid for his daughter at the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago.
An ARDC hearing committee found that Golden engaged in “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresention” and that brought the legal profession into disrepute.
Contacted by phone for comment Nov. 21 at a number posted on the ARDC , Golden stated he “wasn’t even aware” of the disbarment. He said he now lives in Chicago, not River Forest, though the ARDC website lists him in River Forest.
He then stated “I can’t help you” and declined further comment.
The ARDC hearing found in particular that Golden filed falsified tax returns with financial aid officials for the 1999-2000 through 2002-03 school years.
The ARDC also found that Golden “refused to respond to ARDC requests for information about his actions.” In a 30-page ruling, the ARDC also made note the “antagonistic, sometimes rude, nature of (Golden’s) self-representation that understandably offended the majority (of the hearing panel).”
Golden had sought to have the four complaints against him dismissed because, among other reasons, he has been retired since 2007 “and the alleged violations had occurred in the past. But the hearing chair, Michael C. Greenfield, noted Golden could reinstitute his career at any time he wished and said the public needed to be protected from his misconduct.”
The disbarment sanction went further than Greenfield had recommended. He had asked that the justices suspend Golden’s law license for three years in light of his “the nature of his misconduct and lack of cooperation,” but said he “did not believe the evidence demonstrated (Golden) is beyond redemption.”