Criminal defense attorney Jack Blakeslee presumably plans to change the subject the next time someone asks him how work is going.
The Ohio Supreme Court suspended Blakeslee on Tuesday for some decidedly unprofessional behavior: pooping in a Pringles can and flinging it into the parking lot of a crime-victim advocacy center in Cambridge, Ohio, in November 2021.
The court suspended Blakeslee for one year, with six months stayed, for the gross act, and said his conduct “adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law.”
The court noted there was “clear and convincing evidence” that Blakeslee targeted the Haven of Hope center, which employed people whom he admitted he’d known for years, and whom he was probably going to see in court just minutes after tossing the Pringles can into the center’s parking lot.
Surveillance video shows Blakeslee driving by the parking lot, slowing down, turning around and passing it a second time. He then tosses the poopy can out of his car and drives off to the courthouse.
A witness saw Blakeslee throw the can and discovered its contents. She filed a report with Cambridge police.
Blakeslee eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and littering, and paid $248 in fines and court costs, according to Court News Ohio.
At his disciplinary hearing this week, Blakeslee denied that he intentionally chose the center as the target for his poop-filled Pringles can.
Rather, he claimed he simply had a habit of putting his feces in the containers and randomly tossing them from his vehicle as a prank. He estimated that he did this at least 10 times a year, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Blakeslee said the prank was a way to “blow off steam,” and that he enjoyed imagining the “look of surprise” on people’s faces when they discovered his creations.
Blakeslee didn’t claim to have any sort of mental illness, and denied that his hobby was related to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder he received after serving in Vietnam. But, he said, “there has to be something going on that’s related to some of the things I went through in early life.”
The Ohio Supreme Court noted that “the evidence in this case shows that despite societal standards of cleanliness and decorum, Blakeslee failed to control his own bizarre impulses to place feces-filled cans out in public for unsuspecting people to find.”
The court said Blakeslee’s “aberrant conduct has adversely reflected on his own fitness to practice law and brought discredit to the profession through significant media attention.”