Thursday, November 17, 2016

Monmouth prosecutor confirms criminal probe into Asbury Park lawyer.

In a November 16, 2016 letter, Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Michael J. Costanzo confirmed that his office is conducting an investigation into Asbury Park attorney William B. Gallagher.  Gallagher, who became a lawyer in 1968 and maintained his law office at 1321 Memorial Drive, Asbury Park, is the subject of a multi-count ethics complaint being prosecuted by the Office of Attorney Ethics.

One of the ethics counts against Gallagher alleged that he knowingly misappropriated a $60,000 settlement from a 90-year-old woman whose main source of income is social security.  This caused me to formally complain to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office and the Asbury Park Police Department.  In my July 16, 2016 letter to both of those agencies, I noted my concern that the Office of Attorney Ethics may not routinely notify law enforcement when ethics violations also constitute possible criminal wrongdoing.  "Unless someone reports, it is possible that wrongdoing would go unpunished simply because the proper law enforcement agencies were not informed of the issue," I wrote. According to state records, Gallagher is currently suspended from practicing law.

Gallagher appears to be the same attorney who formerly served the Borough of Lake Como (formerly South Belmar) for many years as Borough Attorney.  In his 2014 Financial Disclosure Statement, Gallagher listed 1321 Memorial Drive as his office address.