Nebraska Supreme Court disbars lawyer found with cocaine

A western Nebraska attorney accused of accepting cocaine as payment for legal services has been disbarred.
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A western Nebraska attorney accused of accepting cocaine as payment for legal services has been disbarred.

The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday issued the notice of disbarment for Jon Worthman, 52. Worthman was arrested in January after a law enforcement informant sold him about an ounce of cocaine, the Nebraska State Patrol has said. An affidavit said that after his arrest, Worthman admitted to sometimes accepting cocaine as payment for legal fees.

Worthman, who had also served as the elected public defender for Box Butte County at the time of his arrest, has been charged with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. He is free while awaiting trial on a $15,000 bond.

In Friday’s notice, the state’s high court said Worthman filed a motion to voluntarily surrender his law license. Worthman had been practicing law in the state since 1994.

Reached at his home in Alliance, Worthman declined to comment on both his case and his disbarment. Worthman’s attorney, Maren Chalupka of Scottsbluff, was out of the office Friday and did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Worthman’s next court hearing is set for July 30 for his request to suppress all prosecutors’ evidence. He argues in the motion that a confidential informant police used to carry out a drug deal with Worthman is an unreliable source.

Worthman has pleaded not guilty. Online court records show he has waived his right to a jury trial. A trial date has not been set.