Politics & Policy

Blumenthal’s Double Standard (Updated)

The Yankee Institute’s Zachary Janowski has a new story about Attorney General Dick Blumenthal’s double standard in pursuing criminals:

The first person – William Magner of Easton – was accused of serving on a cemetery board while being paid to manage cemeteries overseen by the board. When he learned of the violation, under a law passed seven years after taking his seat on the board, Magner resigned from the board to remain manager.

Magner settled the criminal charges against him by pleading guilty and accepting probation, but Blumenthal continues to seek a six-figure settlement from him, three years after the cemetery association seized his property and fired his management company. . . .

The second person, Richard Miron, was charged with larceny after taking money for more than 70 gravestones, but never providing the product.

He also settled the criminal charges against him by pleading guilty and accepting probation. However, the payment of restitution satisfied Blumenthal, who decided not to seek any civil penalties although state law allows him to seek $5,000 per victim.

UPDATE: Blumenthal’s office sends Battle ‘10 its response to the story:

Dear Editor:

Your recent story concerning the attorney general’s lawsuits against Richard Miron and William E. Magner, Jr. contains significant factual inaccuracies and distortions.

The office sued Lakeview Monuments of Bridgeport and owner Richard Miron, pursuing Miron aggressively when he failed to provide gravestones to at least 73 consumers. The attorney general fought vigorously on behalf of consumers, ultimately achieving a settlement that provided full restitution — every penny back — to all 73 consumers. This agreement provided more prompt relief to consumers who might have been forced to wait years from litigation tied up in court.

In another case — against William E. Magner Jr. and his cemetery management company — the attorney general filed a lawsuit after Magner allegedly misused cemetery resources for his own private gain and after he failed to deliver gravestones and other services to several consumers who paid deposits or in full.

After Magner accepted and deposited consumer money into his own company’s bank account, he never provided products and services. Magner was also criminally charged for his conflict of interest in serving as both the paid cemetery manager and as a member of the association’s board of directors.

Magner accepted accelerated rehabilitation on the criminal charge, but the attorney general’s civil lawsuit against Magner continues because he has not paid back any money owed to consumers. Consumer redress remains the attorney general’s paramount goal.

As in the Miron case, we are hopeful that a similar outcome can be negotiated with Magner — providing full restitution to all consumers. If Magner indicates that he’s willing to pay full restitution, this office would accept it. Until such a resolution is offered, this lawsuit on behalf of consumers will continue.

Sincerely,

Tara Downes

Spokesperson

Office of the Attorney General

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