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Former Colonie town justice disbarred

Former Colonie town justice disbarred

Ruling: Lawyer had affair with client

ALBANY -- A one-time Colonie Town Justice who resigned during an investigation in 2005 has been disbarred, according to a new ruling.

Richard T. DiStefano was accused in May 2013 of professional misconduct related to his "neglect of a client's matrimonial matter and his engagement in a sexual relationship with that domestic relations client," states a ruling from the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court.

The Appellate Division suspended DiStefano in October, after he failed to cooperate with the investigation. The Attorney Grievance Committee then sought to disbar DiStefano, after he failed to respond or appear within six months of the suspension date. The appellate court agreed and disbarred him in a ruling issued Thursday.

DiStefano was Colonie Town Justice from January 2002 until August 2005, when he resigned with the agreement that he would not again seek a judgeship.

He was then found guilty of professional misconduct and suspended from practicing law for two years. The charges centered around accusations he used client funds for personal purposes, according to the ruling at the time.

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