Monday, December 15, 2014

Somerville Attorney and Sewerage Authority Commissioner faces ethics charges



On December 13, 2013, the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) filed a formal ethics complaint against Somerville attorney Richard M. DeLuca who maintains an office at 90 Grove Street.  DeLuca also serves as a Commissioner of the Somerset Raritan Valley Sewerage Authority.

The complaint, which is on-line here, notes that the OAE began its investigation into DeLuca's financial records after having received two overdraft notices from DeLuca's bank in February 2013.  New Jersey Court Rule 1:21-6(b) requires banks to notify the OAE "in the event any properly payable attorney trust account instrument is presented against insufficient funds."

The OAE's audit, completed on April 30, 2013, found six "record keeping deficiencies" including $8,198.33 in DeLuca's trust account that could not be matched to any client.  On August 5, 2013, the OAE demanded that DeLuca explain "whose funds were contained in this $8,198.33 unidentified balance."  As of December 13, 2013, DeLuca had not yet provided an explanation although he had promised to do so.