A former assistant district attorney in Wilkes and Yadkin counties who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor secret peeping three years ago has lost his license to practice law for two years.
The N.C. State Bar’s Disciplinary Hearing Panel originally suspended Brooke McKinley Webster’s law license for two years in a consent order of discipline entered on Sept. 5, 2019, but in the same order stayed this provided that he meet certain conditions in a two-year period.
This stay was lifted in an order issued Sept. 21 by the State Bar panel and signed by its chairman, Stephanie N. Davis. This order said Webster failed to seek State Bar approval of a clinician to evaluate his psychological condition, failed to undergo the evaluation, failed to provide the bar with quarterly reports from treating clinicians and failed to meet certain other related requirements set by the panel as conditions for the stay.
Webster, 46, of Winston-Salem was charged with misdemeanor secret peeping in April 2017 in a case in which he was accused of using a handheld mirror under a desk to look at a female student at Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library in Winston-Salem.
He pleaded guilty to this offense in November 2017, but wasn’t convicted then because he entered a deferred-prosecution program with certain conditions, which included that he stay off the Wake Forest campus.
In September 2018, Webster was charged with second-degree trespass for being on the Wake Forest campus. Webster told campus police then that he was using the school as a short-cut, but a prosecutor said a police investigation indicated he was on campus longer than necessary to drive through.
The trespassing charge voided his deferred prosecution agreement, and Webster pleaded guilty to secret peeping and trespassing in January 2019.
The consent order of discipline issued on Sept. 5, 2019, stated that Webster violated rules of professional conduct by committing criminal offenses that reflected adversely on his fitness as a lawyer.
In addition to getting a psychological evaluation and complying with any recommended treatment, the suspension of Webster’s license was stayed last year on the condition that he not violate any more laws or State Bar rules of professional conduct during the two-year period.
The consent order of discipline stated that by “engaging in secret peeping and trespassing, Webster committed criminal offenses reflecting adversely on his trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer.” Webster didn’t dispute anything in the consent order and admitted to certain underlying findings of fact.
It also said that due to Webster’s status as a criminal prosecutor when he was originally charged, “there was considerable media coverage of his arrests, which caused a particularly significant risk of harm to public perception of attorneys and the judicial system.”
Webster resigned as an assistant district attorney here in April 24, 2017, according to Tom Horner, district attorney for Wilkes, Alleghany, Ashe and Yadkin counties. He had worked in the office since 2006.