Former Marion County Deputy Prosecutor David Wyser, who pleaded guilty last year to bribery in a federal public-corruption probe, has been suspended from the practice of law.
Wyser was suspended in an Indiana Supreme Court order issued Wednesday. The suspension came three months after the Indiana Disciplinary Commission transmitted orders and requested Wyser’s suspension following his guilty plea in July to a bribery charge. Wyser in November avoided a possible prison sentence of up to 10 years and was sentenced to three years of probation.
The former deputy prosecutor now resides in Reno, Nevada, according to the Indiana Roll of Attorneys. Contacted by phone Thursday, Wyser said he had not seen the suspension and declined to comment or answer questions.
Wyser, the chief trial deputy under former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, pleaded guilty to accepting a $2,500 bribe in exchange for facilitating the early release of a woman sentenced in the murder-for-hire of her husband.
Paula Willoughby had been sentenced in 1991 to 110 years in prison in the slaying of her husband, Darrell, outside Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Willoughby’s sentence was reduced on appeal to 70 years, then modified in July 2009 to time served after Willoughby’s father, businessman Harrison Epperly, made political contributions through his company of at least $28,500 to Brizzi and Wyser in 2006 and 2007.
Wyser had agreed to testify in federal corruption investigations that targeted Brizzi, but the case against Brizzi unraveled last year after a jury cleared three others who the government alleged had improperly funneled money to Brizzi, including his friend and former business partner, John Bales.
Wyser was admitted to practice in Indiana in 1997. He also is licensed in California, where he was admitted to the bar in 1991. He has been on inactive status there since 1999, according to the State Bar of California’s website.
The Supreme Court’s order was unanimous except for Justice Mark Massa, who did not participate. Spokeswoman Kathryn Dolan said Massa explained that he recused himself because he publicly expressed an opinion about the case in April 2010.
Prior to his appointment to the court, Massa unsuccessfully ran to succeed Brizzi as Marion County prosecutor, calling on his fellow Republican to step down. “I believe the prosecuting attorney should inspire public confidence, not public cynicism,” Massa said at the time.