Monday, July 14, 2008

Brooklyn Surrogate No Trust

And then there's Brooklyn, where ex-Surrogate Michael Feinberg was removed from office in 2005 by the Committee on Judicial Conduct for improperly allowing one of his pals to take excessively high fees from estates of the dead.

“Justice Feinberg has promised reforms ranging from a panel to screen appointment and recommend changes in how the place is run; down to keeping the place open at lunchtime as a convenience to the public. With some wariness we endorse Justice Feinberg on the basis of his good record, and trust he will stay true to his reform pledges.” – NY Times, September 6, 1996
The most recent spate of Surrogate scandals rocked the Brooklyn Surrogate Court. In 1995, then-Surrogate Bernard M. Bloom was censured for giving incorrect testimony during a court-appointed investigation of his former chief law assistant. Surrogate Michael H. Feinberg replaced him, and 10 years later, Feinberg was removed when it was discovered that he passed $8.5 million in fees to an attorney without filing the necessary paperwork. The Surrogate election game has remained unchanged as well. . . A partner at Jaspan Schlesinger Hoffman, he recalled an incident from former Brooklyn Surrogate Bernard Bloom’s tenure. Bloom had served as a Brooklyn District Leader for the Democratic Party before taking his office. “When he was asked by a reporter why he appointed his friends, his response was, ‘Who do you want me to appoint, my enemies?’ ” - Judicial Reports, August 27, 2008
Jimmy Breslin on the Brooklyn Surrogate Court
It was not Eduardo Daniel Gutierrez to die in a lake of concrete. The Brooklyn Surrogate's lawyer had to take his cut before his family recieved any of his wrongfull death settlement
NYC Comptroller Audit

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