A judge has ruled that a criminal defense attorney who is under supervision for committing crimes is temporarily barred from representing any clients being prosecuted by the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office.

Anthony J. Sineni III, 52, of Standish was sentenced on Jan. 5 for assault and disorderly conduct, with terms that included supervision by the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office for the next two years.

Justice Roland Cole issued his order on Jan. 16, limiting Sineni’s legal practice with regard to criminal cases brought by Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, but not other prosecutors’ offices, said Mary Ann Lynch, the Judicial Branch spokeswoman.

“Justice Cole told Mr. Sineni that it would be a conflict in his view to defend clients going against the District Attorney’s Office when he is paying the District Attorney’s Office a supervision fee,” Lynch said Thursday.

Sineni was prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Office, but that office had asked the county prosecutor’s office to supervise Sineni as part of his sentence, for staffing reasons.

District Attorney Stephanie Anderson said she called Attorney General Janet Mills and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese after the judge’s order to come up with another solution, because Sineni represents about 30 clients in cases being prosecuted by her office.

“I didn’t see it exactly the way Justice Cole saw it, but I see his point,” Anderson said. “I think it’s cleaner for the Attorney General’s Office to supervise.”

Anderson said although the judge’s order relates to Sineni, her office would have to ask for prosecutors from other offices to prosecute Cumberland County defendants who had retained his services.

“At this point, (Sineni) has every right to represent any clients in any court and represent anyone he wants to until he decides on his own that he doesn’t want to or the Board of Overseers of the Bar says he can’t practice,” Anderson said.

Assistant Attorney General Paul Rucha, who prosecuted Sineni, said Thursday that he is drafting a motion to amend Sineni’s sentence to put his office in charge of supervision, but he is awaiting input from Sineni’s attorney, Christopher Largay, before filing the motion.

Neither Largay nor Sineni returned phone messages seeking comment Thursday.

After Sineni’s sentencing, he was arrested Jan. 9 on charges of violating a protection-from-abuse order and conditions of his release. He is free while the second case is pending.

Sineni’s first case drew national attention because of an unusual ruling by another judge. Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz tried to restrict the media from reporting witness testimony against Sineni or repeating anything that Sineni said in court as a defendant. The Portland Press Herald defied the order, and Moskowitz apologized for issuing the order and rescinded it.

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