Correction: Minnesota Surety and Trust Company, not Plunkett, was fined

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The article entitled “Austin attorney could lose license” printed on Sept. 19 incorrectly stated Austin attorney Peter Plunkett was fined $1.2 million in May 2011 by the Colorado Division of Insurance for bail bond practices at his Minnesota Surety and Trust Company in Colorado, and that he was also fined $50,000 in civil penalties. The $1.2 million fine was also mentioned in an article on Oct. 9 entitled “Historic house may become bed and breakfast.”

However, it was Minnesota Surety and Trust Company — which Plunkett was the president of — that was fined $1.2 million and another $50,000 in civil penalties. According to Plunkett’s lawyer, Marshall H. Tanick of Hellmuth & Johnson, PLC, the $1.2 million fine was stayed under a number of conditions, and only $10,000 of the $50,000 fine, issued by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, was paid by Minnesota Surety and Trust. Tanick added Plunkett agreed to be jointly liable for the Minnesota Department of Commerce fine.

The article also said, “Plunkett still practices law under the Austin business Plunkett and Associates, Inc.” Tanick points out that Plunkett and Associates will continue to operate regardless of whether Peter Plunkett’s license is suspended. Plunkett’s father, Warren Plunkett, will continue to practice law at Plunkett and Associates, where he has done so for more than 30 years.

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Finally, the article quotes Martin A. Cole, Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, saying “Because Plunkett’s case centers around dishonesty, the appropriate action is suspension.” However, Tanick says the claim of dishonesty is nothing more than an allegation, something Plunkett vigorously denies.

The Herald regrets the errors and apologizes to its readers and to Peter Plunkett.