Carmen Lynn Fischer Garcia, a Phoenix defense attorney, has pleaded guilty and received a three year prison sentence for crimes that seem to come right out of an episode of “Sons of Anarchy” or “Breaking Bad.” Fischer admitted to helping a gang move money and served as a conduit for passing information between jailed and street members. She admitted to be a “ruca” or female associate to the gang and assisting Angel Garcia from December 2007 to July 2013 in moving money and transmitting messages from prison. She marry Garcia in July 2011, though the FBI insisted that Garcia was feigning affection.
Garcia is a leader in the New Mexican Mafia, an Arizona prison gang. The prosecutors targeted four “rucas” in the latest sweep: Rosio Robles Gonzales, Oralia L. Garcia, and Tanya Garcia-Ochoa, of Phoenix, and Rosemary Ann Garcia, of Bisbee. Fischer faced 47 counts, including fraud, money laundering, and using a wire for a drug or organized crime offense.
The plea bargain knocked down a long list of crimes to one count of attempted money laundering and one count of assisting a criminal street gang. She admitted to be a “ruca” or female associate to the gang. The FBI alleged that Fischer “poured thousands of dollars into Garcia’s prison accounts” and accounts of other inmates as part of her role. She was previously named in a case as having told gang members of surveillance and supplying information used as the basis for an assassination of an individual.
One line in the story below particularly caught my eye: “In 1999, Fischer was caught on tape engaging in sexual contact with a different client in a room for attorneys to meet with defendants in police custody. She was not sanctioned by the State Bar of Arizona after investigation because it didn’t break any rules.”
I am not sure which is more curious: that having sexual contact with a client in a room is not a violation of prison policies or that such conduct did not result in a bar sanction. It would of course depend on what the police claimed to have been a sexual contact, but, if it were truly something substantial, it is hard to believe that it would not be a violation. We recently discussed actions brought against another lawyer in a case involving sexual conduct in prison. I found one account that the sexual relationship involved an imprisoned double murderer and involved clearly sexual acts. I have no idea how she could keep practicing after that incident, which was caught on videotape. At a minimum, the Arizona bar needs to examine this case to see why the system failed so miserably in allowing Fischer to continue to practice.
Source: Arizona Central