A popular Oklahoma City attorney has decided to resign from practicing law rather than fight disciplinary action by the Oklahoma Supreme Court for a role in bribing a police
“My sobriety and family mean more to me than being a lawyer,” the attorney, Josh T. Welch, told The Oklahoman in an emailed statement.
“The resignation speaks for itself, and I really cannot add anything to it beyond what it says,” he stated. “I accept full responsibility for my actions, and do not blame anyone else for my conduct. I have an enormous amount of regret and remorse about what happened. I look forward to moving on to a new chapter in my life.”
The Supreme Court in April temporarily suspended Welch and another Oklahoma City attorney, Sam Kerr, after they were put on probation for obstructing a police officer.
Welch, 43, and Kerr, 33, entered Alford pleas April 5 to the misdemeanor charge. Under an Alford plea, a defendant accepts a sentence for a crime while still asserting innocence.
Both were fined $500 and put on probation for two years.
A third Oklahoma City attorney, David Ogle, 44, is accused in a felony charge of bribing the Edmond police officer. He is due in court again related to the case in August. He had made no recent comments on his case.
Welch had said in April he wanted to continue to practice law but then changed his mind.
Should he decide in the future to seek to be a lawyer again, Welch must wait five years after the Supreme Court approves his resignation.
Welch is outgoing and popular at the Oklahoma County courthouse.
He is an avid photographer and a close friend of Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne.
Welch, Ogle and Kerr worked together in the same law firm.
The three were accused of involvement in a 2007 scheme to pay a $500 bribe to an Edmond police officer to not show up at a client's driver's license revocation hearing.
The officer reported the offer to a supervisor and then played along to gather evidence.
Ogle is accused of coming up with the idea and of giving a check to a go-between, a retired officer who sometimes acted as a private investigator for the firm, after the bribe was paid.
Kerr is asking the Supreme Court to let him practice law again.
He blames Ogle for his mistake.
“While I was capable of understanding my own decisions, I was a first-year attorney acting under the direction of my employer, mentor and uncle — David Ogle. In hindsight, I should have exercised the courage to simply refuse to participate,” he wrote justices May 3.
“My wife tells me that she has forgiven me, but I will not ever believe that I deserve it. I do not expect the remorse to ever