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Afternoon Briefs: Godmother feels betrayed after law firm money theft; state AG staffer probed over BLM buttons fuss

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Bookkeeper accused of embezzling $740K from godmother’s law firm

A former bookkeeper and office manager accused of embezzling $740,000 from a Rhode Island law firm has agreed to plead guilty in the theft, according to federal prosecutors. The defendant, 39-year-old Sarah Gaulin, was accused of taking the money from Hamel, Waxler, Allen and Collins over a period of more than seven years. Managing partner Eva Marie Mancuso told WPRI that she trusted Gaulin because she is her goddaughter. “We spent holidays at her house, at my house,” Mancuso said. “I felt betrayed.” (U.S. attorney press release, WPRI)

Criminal investigator probed after ‘BLM Button = No Tip’ note

A criminal investigator for the Washington attorney general’s office is on leave after a Tacoma, Washington, waitress accused him of flipping off wait staff who wore Black Lives Matter buttons and complaining loudly to a person he thought was a manager. The investigator, Cloyd Steiger, wrote on his receipt: “BLM Button = No Tip” and posted a copy on his own Facebook page. Steiger’s lawyer said his client, a former Seattle homicide detective, is “blue to the bone,” and his two sons also work as police officers. Steiger is concerned for his sons’ safety, but he regrets getting into a situation in which his emotions got the better of him, the lawyer said. (The Seattle Times)

Judge will reconsider his ouster of prosecutors in George Floyd case

A Minnesota judge has agreed to reconsider his decision to oust Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and three of his prosecutors from the case against former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd. Judge Peter Cahill had said it was “sloppy” for the lawyers to meet with the medical examiner, a primary witness, without having someone else present; Freeman says the meeting was “completely routine,” and they followed rules set by the Minnesota Supreme Court. (The Minnesota Star Tribune, KSTP)

2 BigLaw firms end pay cuts

Two more large law firms are ending salary cuts implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayer Brown will end pay cuts on Sept. 21. The law firm had previously cut pay by 15% for nonequity partners and business services staff making more than $200,000 while reducing pay on a graduated scale for other staff members. The second firm, Norton Rose Fulbright, will end 15% pay cuts affecting lawyers and some staff members on Sept. 30. (Above the Law here and here)

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