Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Guertin v. United States

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

February 26, 2014

RICHARD GUERTIN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, Defendants-Appellees

Argued October 31, 2013.

This appeal arises out of the refusal by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to authorize reimbursement of the defense costs of plaintiff Richard Guertin, who in 2004 was Corporation Counsel for the City of Middletown, New York. Guertin incurred these costs successfully defending criminal charges stemming from a series of transactions that involved Middletown's use of funds it received from HUD. Invoking the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § § 701-706, and his Due Process and Equal Protection Rights under the United States Constitution, Guertin sought an order in the District Court for the Southern District of New York (Kenneth M. Karas, J.) overturning HUD's decision. The district court affirmed HUD's decision. We REVERSE and ORDER HUD to authorize reimbursement.

ROBERT N. ISSEKS, Middletown, NY, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

MICHAEL J. BYARS (Emily E. Daughtry, Benjamin H. Torrance on the brief), Assistant United States Attorneys, for Preet Bharara, United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, New York, NY, for Defendants-Appellees.

Before: WALKER, CABRANES, and LOHIER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 383

John M. Walker, Jr., Circuit Judge :

This appeal arises out of the refusal by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (" HUD" ) to authorize reimbursement of the defense costs of plaintiff Richard Guertin, who in 2004 was Corporation Counsel for the City of Middletown, New York. Guertin incurred these costs successfully defending criminal

Page 384

charges stemming from a series of transactions that involved Middletown's use of funds it received from HUD. Invoking the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § § 701-706 (the " APA" ), and his Due Process and Equal Protection Rights under the United States Constitution, Guertin sought an order in the District Court for the Southern District of New York (Kenneth M. Karas, J.) overturning HUD's decision. The district court affirmed HUD's decision. We REVERSE and ORDER HUD to authorize reimbursement.

BACKGROUND

Between 1997 and 2004, the City of Middletown received funds under HUD's Community Development Block Grant (" CDBG" ) program, which provides federal grants to local governments to promote the " the development of viable urban communities." 42 U.S.C. § 5301(c). Congress delegated the day-today administration of the CDBG program, including the actual expenditure of federal funds, to the grant recipients. See Dixson v. United States, 465 U.S. 482, 486, 104 S.Ct. 1172, 79 L.Ed.2d 458 (1984). As Corporation Counsel for the City of Middletown, Guertin had oversight responsibilities of CDBG fund expenditures.

On August 30, 2004, New York State indicted Guertin--along with Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano and Middletown Community Development Director Neil Novesky--on a variety of charges tied to the alleged misuse of CDBG funds. The essence of these allegations was that, as Corporation Counsel, Guertin had conspired with DeStefano and Novesky in an illegal scheme by which Mayor DeStefano had personally benefitted from the loans made from CDBG funds. Following a bench trial, plaintiff, DeStefano and Novesky were found not guilty of all charges against them.[1]

In rendering the bench verdict, the trial judge found that Novesky simply " did his job" as Director of the Office of Economic and Community Development, and that there was " no credible evidence that he was involved in any illegal scheme." Verdict Transcript, Joint App'x 195. With regard to Mayor DeStefano, the judge found one of the eight loans from CDBG funds to be " troubling." Id. at 197. Although a third-party had originally sought the loan to renovate a building, the loan constituted " an indirect pecuniary benefit" to DeStefano and created a " prohibited conflict." Id. at 202. The judge, however, found that DeStefano had not acted with the mens rea ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.