Legal Ethics

Lawyer Loses License for Lying to FBI About Gift of Small Dog to Girlfriend of Zoning Board Member

Rejecting a review board’s call for a three-year law license suspension, the New Jersey Supreme Court has disbarred a lawyer for lying to federal authorities about the small dog he gave to the girlfriend of a Union City Zoning Board member.

Attorney Jose Izquierdo II, who is now in his mid-50s, also worked as an architect. Questioned by the FBI as part of a public corruption probe, he falsely claimed he had been repaid the approximately $3,417 he spent to purchase a Pomeranian and pet supplies. That lie and other denials concerning items of value he had provided to the member resulted in his guilty plea to a criminal false-statements charge, in a matter that “equates to bribery,” according to a copy of the supreme court opinion provided by the Legal Profession Blog.

The supreme court said disbarment was merited “for respondent’s unethical conduct for which he derived personal benefit,” even though he was not criminally convicted concerning the “official favors and referrals” it said he received in exchange.

The blog post attaches a copy of the Disciplinary Review Board report and recommendation (PDF) rejected by the supreme court, as well as the supreme court opinion filed yesterday (scroll down).

Earlier coverage: “Lawyer Lied About Pomeranian in Federal Corruption Probe in N.J.”

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