July 1, 2016

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Attorney could be disciplined after fraud conviction

MEDINA — A Medina attorney who pleaded guilty to fraud charges last year now faces action by the disciplinary counsel of the Ohio Supreme Court.

Natalie Grubb, 55, of Medina, pleaded guilty in February 2013 to one count of complicity to commit workers’ compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor, in Franklin County Municipal Court. She received no jail time but was ordered to pay $14,441 in restitution and investigative costs.

Natalie Grubb

Natalie Grubb

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, which investigated the case, said Grubb hired Tracy Lytle, of Lodi, to work in her law office while at the same time representing Lytle in a workers’ compensation case.

The bureau also referred the case to the Ohio Board of Commissioners on Grievances, which found probable cause of misconduct by Grubb.

In the complaint, filed in December, the board wrote that Grubb paid $551 to Lytle and cut six checks to Lytle’s friends and family totaling $2,474 for her work in the office.

In a Jan. 10 response to the complaint, Grubb acknowledged representing Lytle in a workers’ compensation case, but denied employing her. She also denied writing the checks.

Grubb’s response, filed by her attorney, Richard Alkire, of Independence, asks the board to dismiss the case against Grubb.

Alkire noted that Grubb has no prior disciplinary record and cooperated with the investigation.

Alkire did not return a call seeking comment on Monday.

A three-member panel of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline will conduct a disciplinary hearing to consider both the charges and Grubb’s response.

The panel then will either dismiss the charges or make a recommendation to the full board for sanctions, which could include losing her license to practice law.

If the full board also agrees with the charges, it will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court, the only body in Ohio with the ability to issue sanctions against an attorney.

A disciplinary hearing date for the first panel has not yet been set.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.