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Duluth attorney reprimanded for drug conviction

A Duluth attorney has been reprimanded by the Minnesota Supreme Court after pleading guilty to a felony drug charge last year.

David Keegan, 67, was sentenced last August to two years of supervised probation after admitting to third-degree possession of more than 50 dosages of a narcotics mixture. He received a stay of adjudication, which would allow him to seek expungement of the record if he complies with conditions.

The Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board initiated disciplinary proceedings against Keegan in January. His reprimand came Thursday, with the Supreme Court approving a stipulation reached between Keegan and the state agency last month.

The order places Keegan under professional supervision through the duration of his court-ordered probation, which ends in August 2020. He must undergo a chemical-dependency assessment, attend treatment and submit to random alcohol and drug testing, as well as pay $900 in court costs, per the stipulation.

The Duluth Police Department and Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force executed a search warrant at Keegan's Skyline Parkway home in February 2018, seizing than 100 doses of opioid medication and over 350 sedative pills, among other controlled substances, according to court documents.

After pleading guilty, Keegan explained in a letter to a judge that a sports injury led him to the "sadly well-known progressive story of addiction." He said he sought out treatment after the police raid.

"Being a criminal defendant in the Minnesota court system is a most humbling experience," he said at the time. "It is not the way I would elect personal humility, but I certainly am humbled by the terrible combination of criminality, stupidity and addiction. Yet, it may have been a blessing in disguise because this difficult intervention quite likely saved my life."

Keegan, who has practiced law in Northeastern Minnesota for 41 years, had only one prior admonition on his record, for charging an "unreasonable" fee to a client in 1984.

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