Ethics complaint: Former Sycamore attorney lied about prostitution
A 27-year-old attorney accused of exchanging sex for money and office supplies is facing an ethics hearing after an investigator claimed she lied about it.
Reema "Nicki" Bajaj pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor prostitution for a single incident in August 2010, which happened before she became an attorney in November 2010. She dissolved her Maple Park law practice last month, court records show.
Bajaj is serving two years of court supervision, and recently filed a lawsuit claiming then-DeKalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell and her former defense attorney showed other local attorneys nude photos of her obtained through the criminal investigation.
Attorneys from Konicek & Dillon, P.C., who represent Bajaj in the ethics case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. Amanda Adams, a DeKalb lawyer representing Bajaj in the civil lawsuit, declined to comment.
But last month, a panel of two lawyers and one nonlawyer found there was enough evidence to file ethics charges against her through the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. She faces a hearing before a nine-member review board and possible punishments including a reprimand, suspension or disbarment.
The ethics complaint alleges Bajaj met two men through the website Adult Friend Finder, where she identified herself as Nikita. One paid her $200 after meeting her for sex at a DeKalb hotel in 2005, and then met her for sex about 25 times over the next five years, paying her $100 for each meeting, the complaint alleges.
She allegedly met the second man in a store parking lot, where he paid her $25 for performing a sex act in 2007, the complaint alleges. The pair met about a dozen times through January 2011, with the man paying her $25 or $50 an encounter, sometimes in cash and sometimes in store gift cards or DVDs, the complaint alleges.
In one instance, the man bought her $70 in supplies for her Sycamore law practice in exchange for a sex act, the complaint alleges.
Bajaj had been emailing with the second man about meeting him and a friend for a sexual encounter when DeKalb police questioned her about the emails May 11, 2011, the complaint alleges.
When testifying before the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission in September, Bajaj denied ever receiving cash for sex, despite pleading guilty in the criminal case, the ethics complaint alleges. The complaint also alleges she failed to tell the commission she had used the name Nikita and been employed as a prostitute on application materials for her law license.
Neither of the men named in the ethics complaint faced criminal charges in DeKalb County, court records show.
Last month, Bajaj sued Campbell and her one-time defense attorney, Timothy Johnson, claiming they showed other attorneys nude photographs of her that they obtained through the criminal investigation against her.
The lawsuit, which seeks more than $50,000 in damages, claims Johnson showed other attorneys the photographs in the lawyer's lounge in the courthouse in Sycamore, while Campbell showed other attorneys the photographs in and around a second-floor courtroom. She also claims an unnamed prosecutor shared newspaper articles about her arrest with other attorneys and prospective clients.
Campbell and Johnson work together at a legal practice that has offices in Sycamore, Sandwich and Yorkville. Neither immediately returned calls for comment Monday.