Former Local Attorney Jailed


Crime - Prison Cell Bars. | Image by Dan Henson, Shutterstock

A former Denton attorney has been jailed due to alleged crimes of theft and misappropriation.

Rodney William Haire, a former personal injury attorney, was sent to Denton County Jail on January 12. Haire is charged with one count of alleged theft of property over $300,000 and one count of misappropriating over $300,000 in client funds, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. Each of the charges is a first-degree felony.

These alleged offenses all took place between May 2014 and March 2021 and affected 26 people.

One of these cases involved Jacqueline Johnson, a Denton resident involved in a car crash in 2014. Records show that Johnson’s case was settled by November 2014, but when Johnson approached Haire about her settlement, she was told that her case had not been resolved.

Haire continued this deception for four years. Johnson claimed to have been owed $200,000 from this case.

Johnson learned the truth after being informed that her case had been settled six months after her accident.  She was then told that Haire had received the money that she was owed.

Johnson later confronted Haire before filing a complaint with the Texas State Bar.

“When Rodney found out that I went to the bar association, first, he accused me of trying to ruin his career,” said Johnson. “I said I’m not trying to ruin your career, you did,” she continued.

Haire’s bail is set at $1 million.

The former lawyer would allegedly take funds from civil settlements and transfer them to his own accounts to finance business as well as personal expenses.

Haire had previously been suspended from practicing law following a hearing before a State Bar of Texas evidentiary panel. The panel found that Haire had lied to clients about their settlements. Haire subsequently resigned, surrendering his State bar card and Texas law license to the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Texas.

Another Denton County lawyer, Petrina Thompson, was jailed in an alleged shooting attempt at the law office in 2019.

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