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Rock Island attorney will serve 60 months probation for drug charges

Rock Island attorney will serve 60 months probation for drug charges

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A Rock Island attorney was sentenced to 60 months probation Tuesday for possession of a controlled substance and methamphetamine delivery.

John G. Steckel, 47, will serve 30 months probation for each charge. He was also sentenced to 180 days in the Rock Island County Jail, with credit for time served, so he will not return to jail.

The sentencing was a negotiated disposition. Steckel had tested clean on a random drug test Tuesday, and will be required to submit to random testing throughout the probation period. 

Steckel was originally charged with criminal drug conspiracy and possession in 2017.

The drug conspiracy charge was dropped as part of a plea deal in May 2019, when Steckel pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class 2 felony. Steckel later pleaded guilty in a separate case to methamphetamine delivery, a Class 1 felony.

"I truly hope that you succeed on these terms of probation," Judge Norma Kauzlarich told Steckel after approving the sentence. Kauzlarich wished Steckel luck and told him his actions had put a black mark on the legal community.

"Quite frankly, I thought better of you than this," Kauzlarich said.

Steckel has also been sanctioned by the Illinois Supreme Court. His license was suspended for 18 months in February of 2019 and he was ordered to make restitution.

"He neglected the family law matters of three clients and did not return the unearned portions of two clients’ security retainers after they discharged him," a 2019 release from the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission states. "He also did not return client records and dishonestly told one client that the law required the client to pay for a copy of his records before they could be returned to the client."

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