INDIANAPOLIS | A Northwest Indiana lawyer and three-term state legislator regained his law license this month — 22 years after it was suspended.
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated former state Rep. William Drozda, D-Gary, to the practice of law Dec. 19, after the high court's five justices concluded Drozda fully complied with their 1995 discipline order.
Drozda's law license was suspended in 1991 following a determination by the court's disciplinary commission that he committed 10 counts of misconduct involving client neglect, including repeatedly failing to show up for court and missing deadlines to file required paperwork, according to court records.
"Recurring instances of misconduct generally pose a greater threat than do isolated instances, and tend to indicate a situation where the misconduct is a product of more than mere oversight, inattention or unavoidable external circumstances," the court said on suspending Drozda.
The disciplinary commission said Drozda's obstructive sleep apnea was partially to blame for his actions. Drozda did not contest his suspension.
The 1995 Supreme Court order suspending Drozda for not less than three years awarded credit time dating back to his initial 1991 suspension, meaning Drozda could immediately have sought reinstatement nearly two decades ago.
However, court records indicate he filed for reinstatement Sept. 13. Attempts to reach Drozda to find out why he waited so long were unsuccessful.
Drozda became a lawyer in 1977. He represented Gary in the Indiana House from 1976 to 1982 and later worked as a Gary code enforcement prosecutor prior to entering private practice.