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Constitutional Law

Lawyer Sues N.Y. Over Alleged Harm to His Reputation from Pension Clawback

Posted Dec 8, 2009 1:13 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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After winning an initial round in an ongoing battle with the state of New York over his contested pension benefits, an attorney is fighting back with a lawsuit alleging that his professional reputation was harmed as a result of a due-process violation.

A New York judge ruled earlier this year that the state comptroller wrongly revoked attorney Albert D'Agostino's annual pension of $106,000 last year without any prior hearing. Now the 65-year-old lawyer has filed a federal civil rights claim in the Northern District of New York contending that he was unjustly portrayed in press releases as a pension cheat, reports the New York Law Journal.

The resulting "public scorn and opprobrium ... irreparably harmed the Plaintiff's professional contacts and his personal and professional reputation in the community, causing him to sustain economic harm, extreme emotional distress, pain and suffering," the suit says. It seeks an unspecified amount of monetary damages.

As detailed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, the state comptroller and attorney general have been investigating hundreds of lawyers in New York who reportedly may have improperly received credit toward state pensions as a result of being listed as government employees concerning legal work they performed as private law firm practitioners.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "N.Y. Judge Restores Lawyer’s $106K Pension, Nixes $605K Repayment Order"

ABAJournal.com: "Iconic N.Y. Lawyer Settles Pension Probe; ‘Worked’ Over 1,200 Days in a Year"

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