From the Wires
New Jersey Judge Under Fire for Alleged Corruption
By: PR Newswire
Oct. 13, 2009 02:45 PM
NYACK, N.Y., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A New Jersey Superior Court judge is coming under fire from a wide array of victims and their families, some of whom have filed lawsuits alleging violations of their civil rights, racketeering, elder abuse and severe unethical behavior, among other crimes.
In one of the more recent cases, Judge Mary Margaret McVeigh is accused of sentencing 96-year-old Blanche Zwerdling to live in nursing home - against her wishes and those of her family - to ostensibly gain control of her trust fund and bank accounts. Full details can not yet be disclosed because the case and a potential investigation are ongoing, but further reports will follow.
According to a family member and court documents, the judge appointed three $300 per hour lawyers for Zwerdling - one as a guardian - while she was placed involuntarily in an assisted-living facility in New Jersey. In addition, her money is being wasted by the court while her health deteriorates, the family member said.
"My mother in law was so happy and comfortable in Florida," said her son-in-law. "Is this how you protect her? Spend her money without discretion, and say in open court: 'she has it so we can spend it.'"
Her grandson, who was the lawful trustee of the trust, was illegally removed without explanation, according to the son-in-law. The court-appointed guardian was subsequently put in charge. The granddaughter, who had lived with and cared for the woman for seven years, was thrown out on the street while the judge slapped her with a restraining order. No family members are allowed to speak with the elderly woman about her situation. And over $200,000 has been drained from her bank account by the court and the three lawyers so far, while many of her belongings were discarded at the whim of her "guardian."
Speaking to investigators, another son-in-law accused McVeigh of illegal eviction, illegal separation, illegal takeover of a trust, violation of the right to choose an attorney, failing to provide an accounting of the money that was being spent and even refusal to allow an assessment of the property after the unlawful eviction. The judge is also facing allegations of a conflict of interest in the case. Susan Champion, the court-appointed guardian, is allegedly a "very close friend" of McVeigh, the son told investigators. "It makes me think back to Nazi Germany," he added.
This is far from the first case that has called McVeigh's ethics and behavior into question.
She was recently named as a defendant in an ongoing federal civil rights action by Jill Jones-Soderman, the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Child Victims of the Family Courts and an accomplished author, speaker and social worker. According to Jones-Soderman, the judge's suppression of evidence and corrupt decision making led to the suicide of a 12-year-old boy, who was transferred by the court into the hands of his alleged abuser.
"Judge McVeigh is using her position to ruin innocent victims and enrich herself and her cronies, so I decided to put a stop to this using the federal courts," said Jones-Soderman, who was also targeted by the judge. "The number of complaints keeps rising, so eventually the truth about her activities will be known and justice will be served."
Another victim of Judge McVeigh was Antonio Latona Sr., according to reports, his family and court documents. After suffering a stroke, he was left partially handicapped. But with the support and assistance of his children, he decided to continue living in Florida with one of his daughters to care for him, where he made friends, continued his gardening and enjoyed the beach.
Against the advice of doctors, social workers, lawyers and other medical experts, the judge ordered him confined to a nursing home in New Jersey. In the 60 days that he spent in the state, he was hospitalized three times. Ultimately, he began suffering from multiple ailments and passed away in September of 2008.
"My father was murdered by that woman," said Antonio Latona Jr., a New Jersey man who claims that Judge McVeigh lied, suppressed evidence and used intimidation in the case. He is also in the midst of litigation. "I will spend the rest of my life to expose her every chance I get. People need to know what she has done and what she continues to do - she has to be stopped from destroying lives on a daily basis."
If you or somebody you know has been harmed by Judge McVeigh and her rulings, please visit www.tonylatona.com for more information.
SOURCE Family Resolution Center
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