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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Chicago lawyer accused of placing job ad with sex in mind

CHICAGO — A Chicago immigration attorney is facing sanctions after he demanded “”sexual interaction with me and my partner”” as a job condition from a woman seeking a position as legal assistant at their firm.

After the woman responded to an ad thatSamir Z. Chowhanplaced in the “”Adult Gigs”” section of Craigslist, he told her in a follow-up e-mail that she would also need to “”perform for us sexually”” as “”part of the interview process.””

Chowhan is accused of lying to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and with conduct that “”tends to bring … the legal profession into disrepute,”” according to a complaint filed Wednesday by the commission, which investigates complaints of attorney misconduct.

Chowhan is also charged with neglect and misrepresentation in two immigration cases in which he allegedly failed to timely file paperwork.

Chowhan first denied he posted the online ad but later admitted it, according to the complaint. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

In May, Chowhan posted the online ad seeking an “”energetic woman”” for “”general secretarial work, some paralegal work and additional duties for two lawyers.”” The ad sought a resume, photographs and “”a description of your physical features, including measurements.””

A woman, who thought the request unusual but assumed the firm was looking for an attractive secretary, responded the same day and included her measurements and a photo, the complaint said. Chowhan e-mailed back.

“”In addition to the legal work, you would be required to have sexual interaction with me and my partner, sometimes together sometimes separate,”” the complaint quoted the e-mail as saying. “”This part of the job would require sexy dressing and flirtatious interaction with me and my partner, as well as sexual interaction.””

The e-mail went on to say that other women had been hired who “”have not been able to handle the sexual aspect of the job later. We have to be sure you’re comfortable with that aspect, because I don’t want you to do anything that you’re not comfortable with. So since that time, we’ve decided that as part of the interview process you’ll be required to perform for us sexually.””

“”When are you available to interview?”” the e-mail allegedly read. “”I am free to interview today.””

The woman was “”frightened”” by the e-mail and didn’t follow through, according to the complaint. She complained to the commission in June. A panel will review the charges against Chowhan and can then recommend he be disciplined.


(c) 2009, Chicago Tribune.

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Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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