The individual [Respondent] in this action had served with the City Fire Department in various capacities for some twenty years. In May 2000 Respondent retired from the Department and after obtained a license to practice law in
, was reemployed by City Fire Department. New York State
Respondent admitted that he "returned to public service after approximately ten years of being in retirement" but when he took the job, he did not obtain the required waiver. He further stated "[w]ell, the required waiver that would allow me to continue to receive my entire pension, and I did understand that I needed that waiver. And I just, I didn't do it." He then stated that in 2014 he "contacted the retirement system, notified them that I was receiving the benefits and to make those arrangements necessary to suspend my retirement and to start paying back the benefits I had received."
Respondent was convicted of wire fraud in violation of 18 USC §1343, which is essentially similar to the
felony of grand larceny in the second degree, in violation of Penal Law §155.40, a Class C felony. By virtue of his felony conviction, Respondent was automatically disbarred and ceased to be an attorney pursuant to Judiciary Law §90(4)(a) and, among other penalties imposed, was directed to pay restitution to the NYSLPFR in the amount of $95,106.15, a fine of $50,000, and an assessment fee of $100. New York
With respect to Respondent's admission to the New York Bar, New York State's Judiciary Law, in pertinent part, provides for automatic disbarment in the event an attorney is convicted of a felony. Under this section, an offense committed in any other State, district or territory of the
where it is classified as a felony is determined to be a felony when it would constitute a felony in this state. (see Judiciary Law, §90, subdivision 4, paragraph e.) For purposes of this determination, the Court of Appeals has ruled that a felony in the other jurisdiction need not be a mirror image of the United States felony, precisely corresponding in every detail, but it must have essential similarity. New York
In response to the Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District's motion to strike Respondent's name from the roll of attorneys and counselor-at-law, the Appellate Division concluded that Respondent's conviction of wire fraud in violation of 18 USC §1343 is essentially similar to the New York felony of grand larceny in the second degree, in violation of Penal Law §155.40, a Class C felony and granted the Committee's motion. The court noted that "[b]y virtue of his felony conviction, [Respondent] was automatically disbarred and ceased to be an attorney pursuant to Judiciary Law §90(4)(a)."
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