A council investigating a complaint of professional or ethical misconduct by Probate Judge Bryan Meccariello has found probable cause and will hold a public hearing in September.
Samuel Manzo, an apparent heir to property left by Josephine Smoron, brought the action against Mecarriello.
Smoron died one year ago, leaving most of her 80-acre estate to Manzo in a 2004 will. But two months before she died, Meccariello approved a request by her former conservator to establish two trusts to hold all her assets.
The conservator, local attorney John T. Nugent, was named trustee. Nugent funded the trusts with Smoron's real estate and cash assets before Smoron died. According to court documents, the land was to go to three local churches, who would then sell it to local developer Carl Verderame for about $2 million.
Verderame needs the land for an access road to build a $118 million sports arena.
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Judicial Council Finds Probable Cause of Misconduct by Meccariello
In Smoron Probate Case, Greed at Its Ugly Worse