Former St. Louis public defender reinstated to practice law following 2007 suspension

By Karen Kidd | Nov 25, 2017

Eric Seymour Affholter, who lost his job in 2007 as head of the state public defender’s office in St. Louis over charges of marriage fraud, has been reinstated to practice law following a state Nov. 21 Missouri Supreme Court order.

The state court accepted Affholter's petition for reinstatement following sustained discipline, including an interim suspension handed down by the court in September 2007, and reinstated him as a member in good standing of the Missouri Bar, according to the court's order.

Affholter was admitted to the bar in Missouri on Oct. 2, 1998, according to his profile at the Missouri State Bar's website.

In August 2007, Affholter pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and the following October was sentenced by a U.S. District Court for Missouri's Eastern District Judge to one year of probation over allegations he had arranged a sham marriage in December 2004 between his boyfriend and one of Affholter's employees, according to a Daily Jounral report at the time. Affholter was alleged to have arranged the marriage so that his boyfriend, a native of Peru, could remain in the U.S., according to news reports at the time.

His interim suspension in Missouri had been pending the outcome of his court case and Affholter also was ordered to pay all costs in his discipline before the state supreme court. In November 2007, the Missouri high court suspended Affholter with leave to petition for reinstatement after two years from the date of that order. Affholter also was ordered to pay costs.

In October 2009, Affholter's license to practice law in Florida was suspended for two years following a Florida Supreme Court order, which also directed him to pay about $1,488 in costs. Affholter was admitted to the state bar in Florida Sept. 19, 2003, according to his profile at that state bar's website, which lists his status to practice law in that state as suspended.

After his probation, Affholter lived for a time in Peru and told a Florida reporter in 2009 that his conviction and subsequent events had been about what he was willing to give up. "I lost pretty much all of my professional life," he reportedly told the New Times.

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Florida Supreme Court Missouri Supreme Court U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

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