A New Jersey Superior Court judge is coming under fire from a wide array of victims and their families, some of whom have filed lawsuits alleging violations of their civil rights, racketeering, elder abuse and severe unethical behavior, among other crimes.
In one of the more recent cases, Judge Mary Margaret McVeigh is accused of sentencing 96-year-old Blanche Zwerdling to live in nursing home - against her wishes and those of her family - to ostensibly gain control of her trust fund and bank accounts. Full details can not yet be disclosed because the case and a potential investigation are ongoing, but further reports will follow.
According to a family member and court documents, the judge appointed three $300 per hour lawyers for Zwerdling - one as a guardian - while she was placed involuntarily in an assisted-living facility in New Jersey. In addition, her money is being wasted by the court while her health deteriorates, the family member said.
"My mother in law was so happy and comfortable in Florida," said her son-in-law. "Is this how you protect her? Spend her money without discretion, and say in open court: 'she has it so we can spend it.'"
Her grandson, who was the lawful trustee of the trust, was illegally removed without explanation, according to the son-in-law. The court-appointed guardian was subsequently put in charge. The granddaughter, who had lived with and cared for the woman for seven years, was thrown out on the street while the judge slapped her with a restraining order. No family members are allowed to speak with the elderly woman about her situation. And over $200,000 has been drained from her bank account by the court and the three lawyers so far, while many of her belongings were discarded at the whim of her "guardian."
Speaking to investigators, another son-in-law accused McVeigh of illegal eviction, illegal separation, illegal takeover of a trust, violation of the right to choose an attorney, failing to provide an accounting of the money that was being spent and even refusal to allow an assessment of the property after the unlawful eviction. The judge is also facing allegations of a conflict of interest in the case. Susan Champion, the court-appointed guardian, is allegedly a "very close friend" of McVeigh, the son told investigators. "It makes me think back to Nazi Germany," he added.
This is far from the first case that has called McVeigh's ethics and behavior into question.
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New Jersey Judge Under Fire for Alleged Corruption