Bret Cook â€” a San Luis Obispo attorney accused of mishandling 38 clientsâ€™ money â€” has voluntarily resigned from the California state bar, effective Oct. 30.
Cook, who once advertised heavily in local media, was arrested last July and now faces dozens of felony charges for stealing about $1 million from former clients. Cook could now face up to 32 years in prison and have to pay $2 million in court fines if convicted.
When New Times first wrote about Cook last December, the attorney said that an ongoing investigation by the district attorneyâ€™s office was news to him.
â€œI donâ€™t know anything about it,â€? he said at the time. â€œPolice may allege that, but it is something that did not happen.â€?
Last year, Cook was a defendant in as many as seven San Luis Obispo County civil cases filed against him by former clients, most alleging missed deadlines, professional incompetence, or other technical insufficiencies.
In August of this year, the state bar of California placed him under suspension. Â³