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Monday, August 31, 2009

District Attorney Covered-Up Bag Man/Public Administrator

From all over New York, reports are coming in detailing how District Attorney Offices are covering up for the local Public Administrators. In Niagara County, an interesting time line shows the common pattern: the District Attorney dismisses a complaint, a judge gets cited by the Commission on Judicial Conduct (usually while other inquiries are under way), and the NYS Attorney General's office subpoenas records. As you read the below article, ask yourself: Did anyone in the Attorney General's office or the Surrogate's Court know about the District Attorney's letter? Have corrupt insiders polluted the AG's office? Is this white-washing from within the AG's office by well-placed, mid-level cogs?

Letter shows DA felt Broderick handled estate properly
The Buffalo News by Thomas J. Prohaska - August 30, 2009

LOCKPORT, NY — As far back as January, Niagara County District Attorney Michael J. Violante decided that County Treasurer David S. Broderick had done nothing wrong in handling the estate case that has triggered a state comptroller’s audit and a subpoena for documents from the state attorney general. In a Jan. 22 letter to Amherst attorney Teresa M. Snyder, Broderick’s chief accuser, Violante wrote that Broderick hadn’t violated the Penal Law or the General Municipal Law. He also concluded that Broderick hadn’t used his county staff to work on estates. In the letter, obtained last week by The Buffalo News, Violante said that he arrived at those conclusions through an interview between one of his prosecutors and Michael C. Veruto, deputy chief clerk of Niagara County Surrogate’s Court. But any violations by Broderick, whose duties include acting as executor of estates of people who die without wills, don’t pertain to the laws Violante cited in his letter. The Office of Court Administration, through its spokesman, David Bookstaver, said in March that Broderick’s activities were subject to the guidelines of the Administrative Board for the Offices of the Public Administrator, which derive from the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act. Snyder accused Broderick of assigning his wife, Jane, a real estate agent, to sell at least eight homes between 2000 and 2008, resulting in more than $30,000 in commissions for her company, Realty USA. About 25 percent of that is believed to have gone to Jane Broderick, given typical real estate practices.

Also, court files show Broderick assigned his brother William, an attorney, to carry out legal work on three estates since 2003, netting William Broderick more than $17,000 in legal fees. Violante did not respond to requests for comment Thursday or Friday. He told Snyder in the Jan. 22 letter that if she had any complaints about Broderick, she should take them up with the judges of Surrogate’s Court. She did so, and in March the judges, Matthew J. Murphy III and Sara Sheldon Sperrazza, asked the comptroller’s office to audit Broderick, a process that is still going on. In June, the attorney general’s office subpoenaed Broderick for six years’ worth of estate documents for files on which Jane and William Broderick worked. Six years is the statute of limitations for most crimes. Violante’s letter does not mention whether any court files were inspected. The Buffalo News reviewed more than 700 Surrogate’s Court files and nearly every one contained evidence of work by county staffers on estate cases. That evidence included letters to attorneys and court officials involved in estate cases signed by Broderick’s secretary, Karen Castle, and her predecessors, as well as documents notarized by them. Monday, a settlement that prevented a trial resulted in Broderick not having to testify about how he handled Snyder’s mother’s estate. It also reduced by more than 50 percent the commission he was seeking from that estate, from $15,196 to $7,500.

DA Finds Nothing Improper in Broderick Case
The Lockport Union-Sun & Journal by Mark Scheer - August 27, 2009

Niagara County District Attorney Michael Violante determined several months ago that county Treasurer David Broderick did nothing wrong in his handling of estates as public administrator. His office also concluded that no county employees were assigned to Broderick’s estate-related work at the time of the investigation, a finding that appears to conflict with numerous estate documents on file in county surrogate’s court. In a Jan. 22 letter to Broderick’s chief accuser, Amherst attorney Teresa Snyder, Violante said his office investigated her concerns about Broderick’s estate dealings and found “no violations of the general municipal law or the penal law have occurred.” “There is no evidence that indicates that he has acted improperly in any of the matters that you cite in your letter,” Violante wrote in a copy of the letter obtained by Greater Niagara Newspapers. “One of my attorneys has met with Michael C. Veruto, deputy chief clerk of the Surrogate Court, and reviewed this matter. Nothing was uncovered to indicate any wrongdoing.” Snyder wrote to Violante in December, asking his office to investigate Broderick’s work as public administrator, including his decision to enter into a contract with his wife’s real estate firm for the sale of the Snyder family home in Lewiston. In her letter, she alleges Broderick benefited personally from the arrangement and suggests it that, at minimum, it was a violation of article 18 of general municipal law covering conflicts of interest for municipal employees in New York. “The attorney general’s position on the matter has consistently been that public officials should avoid circumstances which compromise their ability to make impartial judgments solely in the public interest and even the appearance of impropriety should be avoided in order to maintain public confidence in government,” she wrote in a Dec. 9 letter. “Government officials must maintain public confidence in the integrity of government.” Snyder later brought her concerns to county surrogate’s court as part of a legal dispute over her mother’s estate. As part of the case, she filed paperwork suggesting Broderick’s wife has collected commissions on the sale of several properties he oversaw as the county’s public administrator. Broderick and his attorney, George Muscato, have repeatedly denied those claims, insisting Broderick has conducted himself appropriately whenever called upon to preside over estates in which the individuals have died without leaving a will or the heirs are unable to reach agreement on the distribution of assets. In her letter to Violante, Snyder also expressed concern about Broderick’s use of personnel from the county treasurer’s office to complete his estate work. The claim is supported by several estate documents on file in surrogate’s court, including some placed on letterhead from the treasurer’s office and others notarized by county employees. Copies of several e-mails obtained in March by Greater Niagara Newspapers suggest at least one county employee in Broderick’s office has handled estate-related duties. All the e-mails involve exchanges between Thomas Snyder, one of the sons involved in the Snyder case, and Karen Castle, Broderick’s confidential secretary. Several of the e-mails, which date to September 2008, encourage Snyder to contact Castle or Broderick if he has any questions about his mother’s estate.

According to state law, in counties such as Niagara where there is no provision for a separate office of public administrator, estates left behind by individuals who die without wills or who have heirs who cannot agree on the settlement of affairs are handled by the county’s top fiscal officer — in this case, Broderick. In response to calls for the formation of a county board of inquiry to investigate Broderick’s conduct, Niagara County Attorney Claude Joerg previously has issued an opinion suggesting the duties of the public administrator are separate from those of the treasurer’s office and are, therefore, not covered by the rules of county government. Advocates for the formation of a board of inquiry, including Niagara County Legislator and Minority Leader Dennis Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, have argued that, if Joerg is correct, Broderick should be barred from using county employees and resources for estate work. In his response to Snyder, Violante said his investigation found no links between Broderick’s estate duties and those who work under him in the treasurer’s office. “Additionally, there is no evidence to suggest that county employees are working on files related to Mr. Broderick’s duties and public administrator,” Violante wrote. Violante did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday. Muscato and Broderick also could not be reached to comment. Snyder and all parties involved in her mother’s case agreed last week to drop their claims as part of a settlement agreement brokered by county Judge Matthew J. Murphy III. The settlement is covered by a court-authorized gag order that bars all participants from discussing any details in the case. Broderick’s dealings as public administrator are under review by the offices of the state comptroller and attorney general. The comptroller’s audit is expected to be completed this fall. The attorney general has presented county officials with subpoenas seeking records related to Broderick’s estate work over the past six years. Contact reporter Mark Scheer at 282-2311, ext. 2250


Anonymous said...

I feel better that this corruption happens in every county...

Anonymous said...

Ah, how about a auduit of NYC Criminal Courts a cash cow of bogus cases filed by the County District Attorneys Office, down to fake indictments, agansit innocent people, etc!! all funded by the US goverment!

Anonymous said...

Don't you serfs know who are your masters and who really owns the property! Wake up! They know that they can do anything they want and get away with it because they have a get out of jail free card! Somebody please tell me when does the revolution start?

Anonymous said...

the revolution will start as soon as Eliot Bernstein & friends write the legislation and hire a slew of
lawyers FEDS to infiltrate our courts and our lawyers offices,
not wait until after they cover it all up!
I nominate Eliot, make sure the first page contains how to arrest these bastards!
How do we reach lawyers, judges, public officials that have been waiting for this day to come?
let us book em, arrest them.......
throw them in jail!
I nominate Eliot!

Anonymous said...

the DA writes fake charges for money, terrorize innocent victims, they do that in Niagara County too!
if you notice this is all done by prostitutes, prostitues and terrorists are running our courts..
I nominate Frank!

Anonymous said...

hope AG seeks records of the Kelley Estate.......
nothing like watching someone being raped on their death bed and then make it cost them if they ask for the receipts!

Anonymous said...

DA's are up for reelection. Julie Garcia in Essex County needs to do her job and prosecute criminals on the bar and bench and litigants. I've just opened a site about corruption in Essex County, NY and I've begun with the first judge (James Dawson) and will add each day to cover a lot more. several more judges and lawyers will be added. Please visit my site and an e-mail address will be up shortly for those in Essex or Clinton Countys to report corruption. Here at this blog, I've asked ythose with Clinton or Essex corruption to send pdf to this blog. Will the voters want corruption?

T Finnan said...

Above post was by Terence Finnan at Much more will be added, with judges, county employees, litigants and lawyers and their firms. Julie Garcia is in a primary election. The law firm is in an election for a partner running for office. Please send any Essex or Clinton County corruption to this site and also to my address which will appear shortly on my site.

Eliot Bernstein said...

This section is from the book "The Constitutional Law Of The United States", by Westel Woodbury Willoughby. Also available from Amazon: Constitutional Law.

769. Legal Liability Of Public Officials To Private Individuals Injured By Their Acts; Ultra Vires Acts
As has elsewhere been shown in this treatise, a fundamental principle of American law is that the legality of acts of public officers is determined in the ordinary courts according to the same rules that govern the decision of suits between private individuals. Thus, generally speaking, no officer can defend an ultra vires or otherwise illegal act by setting up his official position or exhibiting the command of a political superior. This last statement as to the non-applicability of the principle of respondeat superior is, however, subject to this qualification, that the order of an administrative superior, prima facie legal, though in fact not legal, may be set up in defense of an act commanded by military superiors. In Be Fair,54 decided in 1900, the court say: "The law is that an order given by an officer to his private, which does not expressly or clearly show on its face its illegality, the soldier is bound to obey; and such order is his full protection. The first duty of an officer is obedience, and without this there can be neither discipline nor efficiency in an army. If every subordinate officer and soldier were at liberty to question the legality of the orders of the commander, and obey them or not as he may consider them valid or invalid, the precious moment for action would be wasted.. Its law is that of obedience. No question can be left open of the right to command in the officer, or of the duty of obedience in the soldier. While I do not say that the order given ... to the petitioners was in all particulars a lawful order, I do say that the illegality of the order, if illegal it was, was not so much so as to be apparent and palpable to the commonest understanding. If, then, the petitioners acted under such order in good faith, they are not liable to prosecution." 55

The result of the doctrine thus stated is, as will be seen, that an act is defended for the performance of which in fact no legal authority can be produced. Simply the color of authority on the part of the superior giving the command is held a sufficient defense. Clearly common justice, and the practical necessities of administration justify the rule, yet, inasmuch as it does in fact protect an act essentially illegal, the doctrine is one that is kept within the narrowest possible bounds. Only where there is present no fact which would put the subordinate, as a man of ordinary intelligence, upon his guard, or where the practical necessities of the case leave little or no opportunity for individual judgment in the matter, should the rule be applied. In all other cases, it is to be repeated, the public official is able to defend his act only by showing some existing legal authority for it

54 100 Fed. Rep. 149.

55 Cf. Wyman, American Administrative Law, § 2.

Anonymous said...

Broderick and his attorney, George Muscato, have repeatedly denied those claims, insisting Broderick has conducted himself appropriately whenever called upon to preside over estates in which the individuals have died without leaving a will ...........

right boys, only because the abuse of power has been going on for so many decades, these lawyers/publlic officials do not actually know the law!
if everyone around you is taking a piece of the pie, including yourself , how do you know the difference!

Anonymous said...

Broderick the Bag Man,
that is funny!
what is Murphy?

this is like dealing with a bunch of rotten children, with the approval of the Bar Association..

Anonymous said...

hi ho hi ho
its off to court I go
to hear some junk
I'll get drunk
hi ho hi ho hihi ho

Anonymous said...

This same scam is going on all over New York. Have read in the Westchester Guardian of similar scams. Something is wrong, I never read about these grifters and con men getting arrested. How does Judge Scarpino permit a felon to act as a fiduciary and get away with this violation of statute?

Anonymous said...

OCA 8th dist just appointed a new ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE....a female who has only been a Supreme court judge for 5 yrs.....and lost the first election try... a few years before that.

Many applied...about 18...and many had years on the bench and tons of administrative experience...but they were mostly independent and did not want OCA - NYC interferring in upstate it used to be back in the 90's...before Kaye and Trificanti plotted the takeover and destroyed many careers and the judicial ethics that existed among many judges who believed that was the way of the courts.

This new lady judge must have made a nasty deal with the devil.... for Lippman to void real adminitration in the 8th...and the possible elimination of the debris who are free to corrupt.

She had to keep Townsend's district adminsitrator..Isenberg...hack of all hacks and as brutal as they come.

This man was only a county atty in 2005 when he took his position that he had no clue as to what to do...but address wardrobes of employees...and immediately went into destruction mode within 4 weeks of his placement.

You wonder who this idiot is...listen:
1) atty for the appellate div in the late 80's.
2) atty with the law firm of the sitting appeals court judge...Piggot...who turns a blind eye to the 8th corruption...and who got involved in a case that addressed it..but ruined a witness' career because he put Townsend and Isenberg in those jobs...and felt their defective natures were more vital to his town, than that of someone who had strenght, ethics and integrity!
3) Isenberg's family owns a meat that makes him a better choice to make decisions and supervise than an atty who aced law school...but has no family connections!

Good luck Paula Ferroletto...let us see what your play to pay deal won't be long or hard to find out...Buffalo is a close community that loves to reveal the gossip or fact.

Anonymous said...

is Feroletto related to the assistant DA in Erie County?
is that her son?
how can you expect much different until they change the rules in our proceedings and courthouses......
let us see if she changes the rules so they can not alter information.........
someone has to change the rules by law, so it can not happen anywhere!

Anonymous said...

maybe Sedita will send long time family friends to correct Kayes, Lippmans directions,
Hope Feroletto has enough balls to set the bastards up!
Feroletto make them fearful and make it cost them and take the trash out

Anonymous said...

we have bag men, prostitutes and terrorists running our courts.....

it is the anti Christ and friends!

Anonymous said...

Feroletto's son is the ADA and her 2 other kids are in law school.
Her husband is a lawyer...seemed nice...not exceptional ability, but won big money in a PI case...which funded her election campaigns....not sure what her deal is to get her the top criminal job in the 8th.

Old man Judge Sedita's 2nd certification runs out this year...and get this...Buffalo wants to tap this 74 yr old whacko as the commissioner of jurors!

We have no 30-50 something talented maybe a woman or minority...esp since the Buffalo news just outed OCA 8th district about not having but only one black female higher court clerk for 30 yrs..who just retired at 72...and now there are that job would at least redeem OCA and show how much they try and lie about being non-discriminatory.

Butt no they want to pick this old man with a shady judicial keep him from enjoying the pasture that awaits him at home...a place he was never big on!

The 8th district is bag of laughs or is it.... money.

Anonymous said...

that is because many minorities actually have more morals, they have dealt with ilk most of their lives, they trust in a higher source, that is why they do not hire minorities they will not put up with anyone's ilk.........

Anonymous said...

seems like it is money, they are trying to get the old regimen back............the new ones couldn't handle the heat!
by the way, great job exposing the tricks of the trade........
seemed odd how those legal bills seemed to coincide with the checking account balance and you know what no work got done for the fees! you owe per retainer.......
bend over and retain this and bye the way can you put the robe on for me!

Anonymous said...

Buffalo wants to tap this 74 yr old whacko as the commissioner of jurors!

who is going to argue with him if he sets up the jury?

Anonymous said...

kaye, lippman, any other of the crew?

I doubt it!

Anonymous said...

maybe the boys are hitting them back and hitting them hard,
play their game, until someone changes the rules of the game!

Anonymous said...

I sense the ice is melting in the 8th...the heat got turned up against them and they are attempting to work around it...showing a cleanup..butt putting that old crazy judge Sedita in the jury mix...makes you concerned what the judicial system is REALLY attemtping to accomplish when they have to concede!

Sounds convoluted and it is...but the truth will come out as it always prevails!

All the stories...all the facts...waiting in someone unknown to OCA's... attic, crawl space or businessman's back room...the mystery of the operation is near. You will love the manifestation when it arrives.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a family business. Got to give them credit and of course they'll take the cash too.

Anonymous said...

what has happened in our town since the crew who only basically suck off the government has taken their control, the ones who use the government and our legal system for their personal benefit,
they certainly are not producing any jobs, they are only increasing taxes for those who produce jobs

they are only getting money by using and abusing our government for their money and raising our taxes........

Anonymous said...

the anti Christ and friends is running our government and our courts................

Anonymous said...

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Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2