SCHENECTADY — A week after Rotterdam attorney Paul DeLorenzo was suspended from practicing law in New York by the state Supreme Court, due to allegedly misappropriating funds from a Schenectady law firm, the Schenectady County Democratic Party has filed a state Board of Election complaint against him.
County Democratic Party Chair Frank Salamone filed a formal complaint with the New York State Board of Elections Chief Enforcement Counsel on Wednesday requesting an investigation into a $33,609 campaign contribution made by DeLorenzo to the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee (RACC) in October 2020. That fall, DeLorenzo launched an unsuccessful bid for state Assembly, challenging incumbent Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam.
A March 23 state Supreme Court ruling stipulated that DeLorenzo is barred from practicing law pending an investigation by the Attorney Grievance Committee (AGC) for the Third Judicial Department into hiss alleged unauthorized use of funds maintained in the DeLorenzo, Grasso & Dalmata law firm’s escrow accounts.
“Based on the Appellate Division Decision, it appears Mr. DeLorenzo admitted that he misappropriated client funds,” Salamone said in a statement. “Further, Mr. DeLorenzo appears to have admitted that funds were misappropriated as far back as 2019. Today (Wednesday) I called upon the NYS Board of Elections Enforcement Counsel to conduct an investigation into the propriety of the contribution. In addition, RACC must conduct its own immediate investigation to determine whether the funds it received were in any way connected to DeLorenzo’s improper conduct.”
DeLorenzo has not been affiliated with the Schenectady firm since allegations of financial impropriety were brought against him in July 2022 after an internal company investigation was conducted.
DeLorenzo applied for leave to resign from the New York state bar while the AGC’s investigation is pending, with the AGC subsequently opposing DeLorenzo’s motion and petitioning to suspend DeLorenzo during the pendency of its investigation.
In the March 23 state Supreme Court ruling, the court agreed with AGC’s concern that DeLorenzo’s resignation application was an attempt to minimize his misconduct and suspended him.
“Mr. DeLorenzo, as an attorney, and as a candidate for public office, owed a duty to the public,” Salamone noted. “If these allegations are true, they certainly call into question whether DeLorenzo lived up to his duty as a candidate for public office.”
The $33,609 contribution DeLorenzo made to RACC in October 2020 represented the largest individual contribution reported by RACC in the group’s fall general election filings. RACC did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.
Salamone is now requesting an investigation to determine if the contribution made by DeLorenzo consisted of misappropriated funds from his former law firm.
“I cannot imagine that Assembly Republican leadership would retain monies that were improperly taken from clients by an attorney that RACC ran for public office — nor should they be allowed to,” Salamone said.
Contact Ted Remsnyder at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @TedRemsnyder.
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