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Greensburg native Bailey to 'go to war' after U.S. Supreme Court ruling

| Thursday, May 29, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
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A hearing committee of the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board has recommended that attorney Don Bailey, who once served as a congressman from Greensburg, be suspended from practicing law for five years. Tribune-Review file

Greensburg native Don Bailey, a former Pennsylvania auditor general and congressman, said he's ready to “go to war” with the state's judicial system now that the U.S. Supreme Court banned him from practicing before the justices.

“They want a political war? They're going to get one,” said Bailey, who now lives in Dauphin County. “I'm going to speak my piece.”

The high court's decision essentially ends a legal and political career that began in the 1970s when Bailey, a decorated veteran of the 101st Airborne, decided to run for Congress.

In December, Bailey's license was suspended for five years after the state Disciplinary Board found him guilty of unprofessional conduct for making unsubstantiated accusations of wrongdoing against federal judges in Harrisburg.

Under the Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney cannot raise an issue that has no basis in fact or the law and cannot criticize the qualifications or integrity of a judge by making false and reckless accusations.

Bailey claimed six federal judges conspired to dismiss lawsuits he had filed on behalf of clients for political motives.

Bailey said he was not surprised by the federal court's decision, although he has not yet seen a copy of the ruling.

“Reporters called me. I have never seen it, never been notified,” he said. “I have never had an opportunity to question my accusers, who are all judges. I have had no meaningful hearings.”

Bailey, who practiced civil rights law, likened his situation to his time in combat in Vietnam.

“I'm an old Vietnam vet. A little firefight does not a war make,” he said.

Bailey served as auditor general from 1985 to 1989 and as a congressman from Greensburg from 1979 until 1983, when his district was eliminated through redistricting. He made unsuccessful bids for governor and the U.S. Senate.

Bailey was required to pay more than $47,000 in legal fees, sanctions and fines for filing an appeal in one lawsuit that was determined to be frivolous.

Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or at rgazarik@tribweb.com.

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