Prominent Chicago attorney accused of assault, trying to trade sex for custody favors
Published; July 27, 2020
A prominent Chicago attorney once told a woman he would tell a judge to give her full custody of her children — but only if she had sex with him, according to disciplinary charges filed by officials with the Illinois attorney registration committee.
David Pasulka told the mother that “in order to receive his support in recommending that she receive sole custody, she only had to ‘do a little extra something,‘” the complaint alleges.
Pasulka, a well-known family law practitioner who until recently chaired a screening committee for court-appointed child advocacy attorneys, also is accused of sexual misconduct against multiple female subordinates, according to the complaint.
Due to the allegations in the ARDC complaint, which was made public last week, Pasulka was taken off the county’s list of approved court-appointed child representatives by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division Grace Dickler, according to an internal email provided by the spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Judge. Dickler also suspended Pasulka’s participation in any other of the division’s court committees.
Mary Wisniewski, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Chief Judge, said court officials could not provide comment on the complaint as it is a pending matter.
The Tribune could not reach Pasulka for comment Thursday; he told CBS 2 he denies all allegations and feels he is being “dragged through the mud.”
The complaint was filed by Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission officials tasked with investigating accusations of attorney misconduct before a formal charge is brought. After that, a panel of the disciplinary hearing board can consider the evidence and recommend discipline if warranted.
Pasulka has not been criminally charged. A spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said law enforcement has not asked them to review the matter.
Pasulka has practiced family law for decades, served on or led prominent committees in the field, and was a frequent public speaker on the subject. He was often appointed to represent the interests of children in domestic relations cases — including in some high-profile disputes, such as a paternity matter involving Chicago Bulls great Scottie Pippen.
The alleged offer to trade sex for a favorable custody recommendation immediately raised eyebrows in Chicago’s legal community.
That incident allegedly occurred in 2017, after Pasulka was appointed to represent two children in a thorny divorce case. During a private meeting with their mother, he began touching her breasts and put his hands under her dress, the complaint states.
He then offered to recommend she get sole custody of the children — but only if she had sex with him, according to the complaint.
He told her “that she was a ‘smart girl’ and that if she really wanted her children, he could ‘do that’ for her if she would have sex with him,” the complaint states.
She complained to her own attorney, who said he would need to withdraw from her case since he may have been witness to an assault. The divorce case settled with a 50-50 custody arrangement.
The complaint also accuses of multiple instances of sexual misconduct at his firm, a pattern that allegedly lasted years.
Pasulka was already on the disciplinary board’s radar because of a previous misdemeanor DUI conviction. He promised the board he would stop drinking, and submit to regular breath testing. Pasulka relapsed at least twice and in February of this year admitted to hooking his breath analyzer to an air compressor in an attempt to pass the test, the complaint states.
A Day After CBS 2 Report On Sexual Assault Claims Against Him, Chicago Attorney David Pasulka Accused Of Driving Drunk
August 3, 2020
GLENVIEW, Ill. (CBS) — Several women and former employees accuse a prominent Chicago family attorney of sexual assault – all of it is outlined in a complaint filed last month by a state disciplinary board.
The day after we first reported on those allegations against David Pasulka, the lawyer found himself in legal trouble – arrested for driving under the influence in Glenview.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, police in Glenview were called on Friday, July 24, to a McDonald’s in Glenview, where they said they found Pasulka in his car intoxicated and in need of medical help.
In a 911 call to the McDonald’s parking lot, the caller couldn’t tell whether or not a man inside a car was breathing. He allegedly hadn’t moved in minutes.
Glenview police said the man behind the wheel was Pasulka, the prominent Chicago family attorney and guardian ad litem. Police said he would not wake up, and he was so drunk that was taken to Glenbrook Hospital – where police said he was too intoxicated to take a breathalyzer or field sobriety test.
The day before the McDonald’s parking lot DUI, we reported on allegations of sexual assault with former employees of Pasulka’s, and claims of Pasulka allegedly abusing his position of power as an ad litem attorney advocating for children in messy divorce cases.
In a complaint filed on July 13 by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), Pasulka is accused of telling a mother what she needed to do to secure full custody of her children.
“She only had to ‘do a little extra something’ and that she was a ‘smart girl’ and that if she really wanted her children, he could ‘do that’ for her if she would have sex with him,” the complaint said.
Pasulka has faced legal before similar to the latest incident before. In 2017, the attorney plead guilty to DUI.
In that case, the ARDC complaint said he “consumed between one half and one pint of vodka,” and then got on the Kennedy Expressway, hit a car, and kept going – stopping at this Niles Starbucks. There, he struck the curb and the Starbucks building near the drive-through, and once again drove off, the complaint said.
The complaint said Pasulka he told a Niles police officer “that he was on his way from work to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and denied having gone to the Starbucks.”
He later admitted to having “five vodkas,” the ARDC complaint said.
The ARDC called that behavior, “Committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer.”
Pasulka has never been charged criminally for the alleged sexual assault and abuse. However, the attorney for one of the alleged victims said his client met with Chicago Police detectives last week to discuss the case – a sign that the investigation could be reopened.
Booking photo of David Pasulka from July 24th DUI.
Glenview PD says 911 caller spotted him passed out in his car. Hadn’t moved for minutes and couldn’t tell if he was breathing.
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) August 4, 2020