Ed Barbo’s Columbia Clothing store in downtown Duluth has been flanked by empty storefronts for more than a year. But now Designer Shades, a nifty looking women’s accessories store has opened next door at 305 W. Superior St.
And over the weekend, on the other side of Ed Barbo’s, new store signs have gone up at the former Betty Lou’s Health Foods store, announcing it’s the new law office for Louis Stockman.
Both storefronts add needed activity to the block. But neither proprietor has an unblemished past.
Stockman, an attorney since 1993 now specializing in personal injury cases, was accused earlier this year of mishandling client funds through a fiduciary trust. Client funds in the account were used to cover payments for other clients, according to the state’s Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board.
It wasn’t illegal but did put client funds at risk, a board spokesman said.
Nick Campanella, who recently opened Designer Shades — featuring handbags, sunglasses, jewelry and some clothing – did face criminal charges last year.
He and his business partner were operating Christopher’s Clothing Store, also at 305 W. Superior St., when authorities came down hard on it and two other Duluth stores for selling bogus designer clothing, handbags, sneakers and sports items. The would-be designer items were sold at low prices.
Both Campanella and Christopher Giddens, the store’s co-owners were charged in connection with the sale of counterfeit intellectual property at their store.
Campanella told the News Tribune then that he had ordered the items online without criminal intent. He eventually pleaded guilty in an Alford plea, which is not an admission of guilt but acknowledges that enough evidence exists to lead to a guilty verdict. He was sentenced in October to 22 months probation, five days community service and a $100 fine.
Since then he opened Excess Baggage, another accessory shop at the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street. That shop continues to operate, even after he opened Designer Shades a few weeks ago.