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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Disciplinary Probe May Proceed Against Surrogate

Disciplinary Probe May Proceed Against Surrogate
The New York Law Journal by Brendan Pierson  -  December 7, 2011

Bronx Surrogate Lee L. Holzman yesterday lost a motion to stay a disciplinary proceeding against him brought by the Commission on Judicial Conduct for allegedly allowing Michael Lippman, a former counsel to the Bronx public administrator, to collect $300,000 in excessive fees. Surrogate Holzman filed an Article 78 petition earlier this year seeking dismissal of the commission's action without prejudice to refile after the resolution of a criminal case against Mr. Lippman pending in the Bronx.  Acting Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe, who is presiding over the Article 78 case, dismissed Mr. Holzman's petition on Sept. 8, and the disciplinary proceeding began on Sept. 12. But Surrogate Holzman filed a renewed motion to stay with Justice Jaffe, who granted a temporary stay before eventually denying the renewed motion in early October. Justice Holzman then appealed to the Appellate Division, First Department. Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam immediately issued a temporary stay until a full panel could consider the motion.  The panel that ultimately denied the motion yesterday consisted of Justices Abdus-Salaam, James M. Catterson, Karla Moskowitz, Leland G. DeGrasse and Rosalyn H. Richter. All concurred except Justice Catterson, who said the panel should have stayed the case pending the resolution of Mr. Lippman's criminal case so that he could testify if he is acquitted. Mr. Lippman is refusing to testify in Surrogate Holzman's disciplinary case, invoking his Fifth Amendment right. The disciplinary case will now resume.  The conduct commission has alleged that Surrogate Holzman allowed Mr. Lippman to collect fees without sufficient documentation, awarded fees beyond those authorized by an oversight commission, which the surrogate oversaw (NYLJ, Sept. 13), and failed to report to authorities that Mr. Lippman had taken advance or excessive fees in some cases. Surrogate Holzman became the chairman of the Administrative Board of the Offices of the Public Administrators in 2002, the year the body formulated guidelines for the payment of counsel to public administrators. Mr. Lippman was indicted last year for allegedly collecting excess fees in five cases. The surrogate eventually fired Mr. Lippman in 2006.


surrogate victim said...

I smell a political sacrificial lamb being cooked right before our eyes. What about the other Surrogate judges who have done far worse. Brooklyn reigns in the New York corrupt surrogate court department.

Anonymous said...

This should have been Scarpino.

Somehow he has managed to get very single complaint against him dismissed.

Wonder how that happens?

manhattan surrogate court victim said...

Manhattan Surrogate Roth has retired from her corruption over dead folk's assets and she's now 'donating' (read: selling) her time as an administrative judge for the poor NY 3 billion dollar mob operation. If you really want to see how some of the biggest dollar frauds were orchestrated for many years, check out Roth's handiwork. I pray to my god that she will spend deserved time in prison.

Anonymous said...

Bx Surrogate Holzman went along to get along with Dirt-Bag Michael Lippman. Behind the curtain is the former Bx Surrogate Bert Gelfand who was removed from office by Albany. They all need to be locked up and placed in jail for the rest of their lives.

Anonymous said...

Thousands of these crooked lawyers defraud and embezzle every day. The court system enables this corruption. Every once in a while it needs to sacrifice one of its own to keep up appearances and make sure that things keep on humming for everyone else.

real estate degrees said...

If it is so, all the peoples must be equally charged..And where the issue of the people who have done things worse that this..

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What is this "MAY PROCEED" business? There should be no question! I t must proceed right NOW! Damn Straight!

Anonymous said...

@ 2:08 am are you dont shoot them then you would be in jail dumby...get them where it hurts and that is their pockets and reputation.....

Anonymous said...

ps.what are you doing this weekend

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