STATEWIDE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE
New Haven Judicial District, G.A. 7 & 8 Grievance Panel,Complainant vs. Thomas Richardson, Respondent
Grievance Complaint #95-0373
Pursuant to Practice Book '27J, the undersigned, duly-appointed reviewing committee of the Statewide Grievance Committee, conducted a hearing at the Superior Court, 95 Washington Street, Hartford, Connecticut on April 11, 1996. The hearing addressed the record of the complaint filed on November 2, 1995 and the probable cause determination filed by the New Haven Judicial District, Geographical Area 6 Grievance Panel on December 4, 1995, finding that there existed probable cause that the Respondent violated Rule 8.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Notice of the hearing was mailed to the Complainant and to the Respondent on March 4, 1996. Attorney Welch represented the Complainant. The Respondent appeared, represented by Attorney Ira Grudberg. Exhibits were admitted into evidence.
This reviewing committee makes the following findings by clear and convincing evidence:
In 1979, the Respondent was appointed conservator of Kenneth Amaral. In June, 1995, the Respondent contacted Attorney Phoebe Boyer who chaired the Connecticut Bar Association's client security fund regarding the Amaral estate. In connection with the funds relative to the conservator's estate, the Respondent admitted that $160,000.00 was gone.
In a personal statement the Respondent essentially admitted that he was initially aware that funds were being commingled with general firm monies and subsequently became aware that the Amaral funds apparently had been "lost or spent". The Respondent claimed that his employer, had "sole access to and control over the various checking, savings and securities accounts."
This reviewing committee finds the following violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct by clear and convincing evidence:
This reviewing committee concludes that the Respondent engaged in misconduct in mishandling funds relative to the conservator's estate in violation of Rule 8.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Since we conclude that the Respondent violated the Rules of Professional Conduct and in consideration of the seriousness of the misconduct, we recommend that the
Statewide Grievance Committee present the Respondent to the Superior Court for whatever disposition the court deems appropriate.
Attorney Suzanne Powers
Ms. Caroline Wakefield