"Your witness, Counsellor."
Alisha Smith, 36, by day a lawyer in the state Attorney General’s Office specializing in prosecuting securities fraud, prowls the night as “Alisha Spark,” a dominatrix who performs at S&M events for pay. So reports an expose in the New York Post. At a recent S&M event, Alisha posed for photos with fellow fetishists, wearing a skin-tight, see-through latex dress with heart-shaped pasties.“They pay her to go to the events. She dominates people, restrains them and whips them,” the Post’s source said.
Yesterday, the Attorney General removed Smith from her duties. “The employee has been suspended without pay, effective immediately, pending an internal investigation,” said a spokesman for state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The lawyer-dominatrix’s punishment, which will may eventually involve dismissal, will undoubtedly be based on a standing executive order in the Attorney General’s Office that requires employees to “obtain prior approval from the [Employment Conduct Committee] before engaging in any outside pursuit … from which more than $1,000 will be received or is anticipated to be received.”
Whipping enthusiastic S&M lovers pays a lot better than that.
She should be dismissed anyway. Her activities breach no legal ethics rules, but as a representative of the state, the Attorney General and the justice system, “Alisha Spark” was obligated conduct herself in a manner that did not undermine the system’s dignity or call the competence of the Attorney General’s Office into question. Even if she had been whipping leather-clad, squealing men free of charge, she was still duty-bound to keep her kinky escapades secret and private, because once they became public, if they did, they would harm her ability to do her legal job. Would a jury be as likely to accept an argument from a prosecutor who had pictures circulating the internet showing her whipping up fun in her alternate profession while dressed like Cat Woman? Maybe, but no sane Attorney General would want to take that chance.
Kinky though she may be, Smith is apparently good at her day job. If the Attorney General believes that his office won’t be tangibly impeded by her continued employment in a legal role that doesn’t require a high profile or courtroom duty, then it would make sense to keep her on. Otherwise, it is the Naked Teacher Principle again, under the rare sub-category labeled “Dominatrix Lawyers.”