Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cumberland Freeholder Deputy Director, partner, named in attorney ethics complaint.

A Woodbury attorney who serves as Deputy Director of the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders and his law partner have been named in a Disciplinary Action Complaint filed by the New Jersey Supreme Court's Office of Attorney Ethics.

Freeholder Douglas M. Long and his partner Albert K. Marmero, partners in the Woodbury law firm of Long Marmero and Associates, have been charged by state ethics officials with "negligent misappropriation" of funds held in the law firm's trust account.  According to the February 19, 2014 complaint, which is on-line here, the firm's "trust account funds were regularly invaded and utilized as a 'line of credit' to fund the firm's operating expenses."  The complaint goes on to detail dozen of transactions in which a total of $199,255.42 was allegedly "borrowed" from client trust funds in order to cover the firm's business checking account overdrafts, payroll taxes and to repay loans given to the firm by Douglas Long's brother Jeff Long.

The complaint alleges that Long and Marmero "delegated the firm's record keeping responsibilities to" Colleen Redman, a non-attorney.  Long and Marmero allegedly did not "make any inspection of the firm's books and records for the purpose of confirming that Redman was safeguarding the property of clients and third parties" during a three-year period.

Long and Marmeo,though Roseland Attorney Roger Plawker, filed an verified answer to the complaint, which is on-line here.

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