Tressel tipster facing misconduct charges for initial e-mails

Former Ohio State walk-on and local attorney Chris Cicero was just trying to help when he sent former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel emails regarding Terrelle Pryor and other players exchanging memorabilia for tattoos, but now Cicero is in trouble for providing that information.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Ohio Supreme Court's Disciplinary Counsel has filed misconduct charges against Cicero for disclosing to Tressel privileged conversations between he and tattoo parlor owner Eddie Rife.

The documents said Rife met with Cicero on April 2, 2010, the day after federal officials raided Rife's home in a drug raid. The agents also seized a large stash of Ohio State memorabilia, including gold pendants, jerseys, championship rings and jerseys.

"During the meeting, Rife expressed his concern that their conversation would remain confidential," the disciplinary documents said. "(Cicero) assured Rife that everything Rife told (Cicero) would remain confidential.

"Rife proceeded to tell (Cicero) all the details surrounding his involvement in criminal activity. Rife also explained to (Cicero) how he came into possession of the OSU memorabilia seized during the raid."

Right after the meeting, Cicero sent an email to Tressel, "divulging much of the information that Rife had told (him) in confidence."

It was Cicero's emails that ultimately led to Tressel's downfall. Tressell tried to hide the emails and lied to the NCAA about his knowledge of the incident before he ultimately came clean.

Tressel resigned on May 30.

According to a March article by the Columbus Dispatch, Cicero has had a checkered past as a lawyer. The paper cites two incidents where Cicero acted inappropriately, including an incident in 1997, which led to his license being suspended for a year.

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