Troubled Augusta lawyers face bar review

David Fry, the attorney who took a plea deal to avoid a conviction on bribery charges, remains a member in good standing with the Georgia Bar Association.

But the license of Joe Neal Jr., who is waiting trial on charges of rape and furnishing alcohol to a person under the age of 21, has been temporarily suspended in South Carolina.

Fry received five years probation and community service March 8 after entering an Alford plea to allegations that he tried to sway the votes of two city commissioners in 2009. His first offender status guarantees he walks away without a felony conviction upon successfully completing probation.

At sentencing Superior Court Judge James Blanchard said a letter would be sent to the Georgia Bar notifying them out of the outcome of the case.

As of Monday, records show no history of disciplinary action against Fry.

Neal and his ex-wife, Caroline Neal, were indicted March 6 on felony charges after a teenage girl said they tried to have sex with her after giving her alcohol and marijuana. Both have pleaded not guilty and have been released on bond.

According to the South Carolina Bar, Neal’s license is under temporary suspension under rule 17 (a), which authorizes the suspension after notice of criminal indictment.

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