A state regulatory commission has filed a complaint against McHenry County Board member Robert Bless, alleging he had a sexual relationship with a client, received loans from her and gave false testimony about his conduct.
The four-count complaint filed Aug. 30 by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission stems from a case Bless' law firm, Bless & Associates, took in August 2005, just more than a year after Bless received his law license in Illinois.
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Bless and Cynthia Giacchetti, the attorney representing him against the complaint, did not return multiple phone calls for comment Saturday. A spokesman for the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission also did not return a call seeking comment.
The case was a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by a woman after her husband's May 2003 death resulting from a workplace accident. Bless took over responsibility for the case from another attorney in his firm in January 2006.
Later, according to the complaint, Bless began a sexual relationship with the woman. The complaint alleges the relationship was improper and created a conflict of interest. The complaint also accuses Bless of receiving loans from the woman which he allegedly used for postage for McHenry County Board campaign materials, purchase of a BMW convertible, costs associated with other Bless & Associates cases and other personal purposes.
The complaint alleges Bless advised the client to cover up the nature of their sexual relationship.
"U need 2 deny anything other than we r good friends nothing more I could lose my license," Bless allegedly wrote in a text message to her in July 2008.
But in July 2009, the woman told the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission about the alleged sexual relationship and loans. Bless testified before the commission in April, but denied representing the woman in the wrongful-death lawsuit.
The complaint requests that a panel hear testimony about Bless' conduct, make findings and recommend disciplinary action.