Friday, September 5, 2014

Really Freeholder Long?

The South Jersey Times reported on September 4, 2014 that Freeholder Doug Long and his law partner Albert Marmero were charged by ethics authorities with using nearly $200,000 from client trust funds to pay for the firm's operating expenses.  The article quoted Long as saying "It's important to note that neither myself, nor my partner are being accused of any wrongdoing ... Instead, this is an issue of negligent supervision of an employee."

The filed ethics complaint, in paragraphs 46 and 47, states that "on November 1, 2010, a cash deposit of $10,000.00 was made to the trust account. These funds replenished the trust account for the funds misappropriated from Royal Court tenants in October 2010. The cash deposit was a loan from Jeff Long," who is Don Long's brother.  Long and Marmero, in their answer to the ethics charge, admitted that Long's brother deposited the $10,000 into their firm's trust account but claim that they "only learned in the course of this investigation that [bookkeeper Colleen] Redman routinely transferred funds among different firm accounts, including the trust account, and in this instance deposited a loan, to ensure that firm liabilities were covered and duly paid."

So, Redman, on her own and without Long or Marmero knowing about it, reached out to Long's brother and arranged for him to make a $10,000 cash loan to the firm's trust account to keep the trust account from being overdrawn?  Really?

Apparently, the Freeholder expects us to believe that he and his brother never discussed this loan and that the entire scheme was cooked up by the "negligently supervised" bookkeeper.  For Long's sake, I hope the members of the State's Disciplinary Review Board are as gullible as he believes the public to be.