Donald E. Robinson, a former assistant U.S. attorney here who was acquitted in 1976 of federal charges of bribery and obstruction of justice, was ordered disbarred yesterday by the appellate division of the New York State Supreme Court.
The court, upholding a recommendation by a committee of lawyers and judges in Rochester where Robinson has practiced law since his acquittal, held that Robinson's actions involving the 1976 case were "in violation of his oaths and obligations as an attorney and public officer."
In a four-page opinion, the court said Robinson was "guilty of a breach of the trust placed in him as a public official . . ." despite his acquittal.
"This is something I never thought would happen," Robinson said last night from his home in Rochester where he has practiced law with his father. "I don't know what the purpose of the trial was if I'm still to be further judged." He said he would appeal the decision to the New York State Court of Appeals.
Robinson's acquittal in 1976 was one of only a few in more than 100 cases brought by D.C. police in an undercover fencing operation dubbed "The Sting." The operation in which police officers posed as criminals and fenced stolen goods while tape recording the transactions, received national publicity.
A jury cleared Robinson of charges that he sold the undercover policeman grand jury information for $700. Robinson's attorney in the trial admitted that Robinson took the money, but argued that Robinson was trapped into the crime by the police who also were investigating allegations by a prostitute that Robinson had fixed a case for a friend of hers.
Robinson said last night he is not sure whether he will be allowed to practice law while he appeals the disbarment order.