In September 2016, Darren Fish was two months into a six-month suspension from practicing law in Illinois.
For Fish — an attorney in the Chicago area since 2006 who specialized in bankruptcy, immigration and foreclosure law — things would soon go from bad to worse.
He posted a thinly veiled ad for ecstasy on Craigslist that caught the eye of the Chicago Police Department’s Narcotics Division, according to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.
“Anyone seen Molly or my friend X-Ray,” the ad read.
An undercover narcotics officer reached out to Fish to buy three ecstasy pills for $75. On Sept. 8, 2016, the two met in a car near the intersection of Rosemont and Lakewood in Edgewater, less than two blocks from Northside Catholic Academy.
The pills and cash — marked bills — changed hands, and Fish got out of the car. He was arrested moments later.
Fish was charged with delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school — a Class X felony, according to state disciplinary commission. The charges were dropped after Fish — a former prison guard — completed a diversion program. Details on Fish’s arrest and charges were not immediately available from Chicago police or the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
Last Tuesday, more than two years after his arrest, Fish effectively disbarred himself when he moved to “strike his name from the roll of attorneys licensed to practice law in Illinois.” The Illinois Supreme Court granted the motion, and it took effect immediately.
Fish could not be reached for comment. The attorney who represented Fish in disciplinary proceedings did not return messages.
Three months before his arrest, the state disciplinary commission found that Fish “improperly shared fees with non-lawyers, failed to properly handle money tendered to Respondent as costs, failed to adequately communicate with several clients and failed to represent one client with diligence.”
Fish was suspended for six months and was ordered to complete a “professionalism seminar.”