360 Fireworks Party

Friday, February 24, 2012


by Michael Monks 
Steve Megerle
Former Covington City Commissioner Steve Megerle was before the Kentucky Supreme Court Thursday for his issues with the Kentucky Bar Association. The state's highest court ruled that a public reprimand and the payment court costs were an appropriate penalty for Megerle for mishandling a client's automobile injury case and also for his involvement in the 2008 campaign flyer against then-candidate Shawn Masters that would eventually result in Megerle's resignation from the commission. 
The Kentucky Bar Association charged that Megerle took no action for over a year in the automobile injury case other than mailing letters in May 2007 to his client's insurance company and another to the insurance company of the other driver involved. From the ruling: 
Elizabeth Martinez was injured in an automobile accident in June 2006. In October 2006, Martinez retained Megerle to represent her in connection with the accident. Megerle sent two letters in February and March 2007, one to Martinez's insurance company and one to the other driver's insurance company, to notify the adjusters that he was representing Martinez. Megerle requested copies of Martinez's medical and billing records in May 2007. And, in November 2007, Megerle received a $5,000 settlement offer from the other driver's insurance company. Megerle conveyed that offer to Martinez but without providing specifics. Megerle took no further action regarding Martinez's personal injury claim.While Megerle represented her, Martinez had not yet met any of the no-fault thresholds required by Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 304.39-060 before a tort suit arising from an automobile accident can be filed. But Megerle did not explain to Martinez the threshold requirements of KRS 304.39-060 or why he had not filed suit. Martinez believed Megerle had filed a personal-injury suit on her behalf. And when she discovered that no suit was filed, Martinez discharged Megerle; and he released her file to her in April 2008. 
Charges against Megerle for that case were as follows:
1) SCR 3130-1.3, by taking no action on Martinez's case for over a year, other than mailing letters in the spring of 2007 and conveying a settlement offer to her in November 2007;2) SCR 3.130-1.4(a), by not keeping Martinez reasonably informed about the status of her case and by not informing her of the requirements of KRS 304.39-060; and3) SCR 3.130-1.4(b), by not sufficiently explaining the no-fault statute requirements to Martinez to permit her to make informed decisions concerning his representation of her.
Megerle's role in a campaign flyer against Masters in 2008 that included the current City Commissioner's social security number and had strong homophobic undertones (Masters is openly gay) was also part of Thursday's proceedings:
In the fall of 2008, Megerle, a Covington City Commissioner, assisted with the election campaign of Craig Johnson, a candidate for a vacant seat on the Commission. Megerle contributed $100 cash toward the creation and distribution of an anonymous campaign pamphlet advocating the defeat of Shawn Masters, Johnson's opponent in the election. The pamphlet did not disclose who was paying for the pamphlet. Megerle and another individual distributed these pamphlets in certain Covington neighborhoods.In April 2009, in the case of Commonwealth v. Steven J. Megerle, Kenton District Court, Case No. 09-M-02076, Megerle pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Fail to Identify Campaign Contributors and Advertisers and entered an Alford2plea to Conspiracy to Violate Campaign Finance Restrictions, both Class A misdemeanors. Megerle received a sentence of twelve months' imprisonment, conditionally discharged for one year; was required to pay a $500 fine; and was placed on non-reporting probation for one year. 
The Commission issued a one-count Charge, alleging Megerle violated SCR 3.130-8.3(b) by committing the campaign law misdemeanors to which he pleaded guilty. 
The final judgment: 
So we agree that a public reprimand and imposition of all costs associated with these proceedings is the appropriate penalty. For the foregoing reasons, the Court ORDERS:1) Steven Joseph Megerle, KBA Member No. 90675, is guilty of all charges alleged in KBA Consolidated File No. 17289;2) Megerle's Motion for Public Reprimand is granted; and he is hereby issued a public reprimand for violation of SCR 3.130-1.3, 3.130-1.4(a), 3.130-1.4(b), and 3.130-8.3(b); and3) Under SCR 3.450, Megerle is ordered to pay all costs associated with this disciplinary proceeding, in the amount of $79.75, for which execution may issue from this Court upon finality of this Opinion and Order.
All sitting. All concur.
Megerle, 31, still practices law in Covington from an office on Washington Street. 


  1. Another fine specimen of KY manhood! He and Eric Deters ought to open up shop!

  2. Nice to know sometimes justice prevails.