Thursday, June 21, 2012

Forget The Titan

A former "titan" of New Jersey politics was disbarred by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals as a result of his conviction of offenses that involved moral turpitude per se. reported on the conviction and sentencing:

Former Sen. Wayne Bryant, once a titan of New Jersey politics, was sentenced Friday to four years in federal prison for trading his clout as budget chairman for a low-work job to boost his taxpayer-funded pension...

A jury convicted Bryant (D-Camden) of 12 counts of pension fraud and bribery eight months ago, after a high profile trial that exposed a secretive and easily manipulated state budget process.

Bryant, who left office in 2007, helped steer $10.5 million in state grants to his employer, a school within the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Now he will have to pay $113,167 in restitution to UMDNJ and a $25,000 fine.

[Judge Freda] Wolfson said Bryant gave up his impartiality as a legislator when he accepted the low-show, $35,000-a-year job at UMDNJ in exchange for his influence, even if he intended to help his constituents by steering money to the school.

"It was the manner by which it was undertaken to subvert the system," the judge said.

Wolfson also chided Bryant for his "low-show" job as a part-time attorney for the Gloucester County Board of Social Services - which helped to raise his pension from $28,000 to $81,000 a year. She said his actions were improper, despite his argument other attorneys also sent law firm associates to complete such work.

"It won't fly," Wolfson said. "Because ultimately to obtain a pension you have to do the work."

In D.C., crimes of moral turpitude must result in disbarment. Where a crime involves moral turpitude per se, the sanction is imposed wirthout any hearing. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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