IN RE: Joseph C. MANERI

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

IN RE: Joseph C. MANERI, etc., Petitioner, v. NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Respondent.

Decided: June 30, 1997

Before O'BRIEN, J.P., and THOMPSON, PIZZUTO and FRIEDMANN, JJ. Jerry Garguilo, St. James (Robert J. Clasen, of counsel), for petitioner. Dennis C. Vacco, Attorney-General, New York City (Elaine M. Barraga and Scott NeJame, of counsel), for respondent.

Proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 to review a determination of the Secretary of State, dated March 31, 1996, which, after a hearing, revoked the petitioner's real estate broker's licenses pursuant to Real Property Law § 441-c and revoked his notary public commission pursuant to Executive Law § 130.

ADJUDGED that the determination is confirmed and the proceeding is dismissed on the merits, with costs.

The petitioner was found to be untrustworthy as a result of his participation in a scheme in which several pieces of real property in Suffolk County were sold without the owners' knowledge or consent.   The petitioner was also found to have engaged in misconduct by notarizing deeds without the signatories having appeared before him.

 We find that the determination was supported by substantial evidence (see, Matter of Pell v. Board of Educ., 34 N.Y.2d 222, 231, 356 N.Y.S.2d 833, 313 N.E.2d 321).   Where a broker is “guilty of fraud or fraudulent practices * * * or has demonstrated untrustworthiness or incompetency to act as a real estate broker or salesman”, the Department of State may revoke or suspend the license of that broker or salesman (Real Property Law § 441-c [1] [a] ).   Accordingly, the determination by the Secretary of State to revoke the petitioner's real estate broker's licenses was proper, as was the determination to revoke the petitioner's notary public commission (see, Executive Law § 130).   Moreover, the penalty was not so disproportionate to the offense as to be shocking to one's sense of fairness (see, Matter of Pell v. Board of Educ., supra, at 233, 356 N.Y.S.2d 833, 313 N.E.2d 321).

 Additionally, the revocation of the petitioner's real estate broker's licenses and his notary public commission were proper notwithstanding his receipt of a certificate of relief from civil disabilities (see, e.g., Matter of Pulaski Inn, 182 A.D.2d 1116, 1117, 583 N.Y.S.2d 705;  Matter of Alaimo v. Ambach, 91 A.D.2d 695, 696, 457 N.Y.S.2d 955;  Correction Law § 701[3];  Executive Law § 130).   The petitioner's argument that the revocation of his licenses and notary commission constitutes double jeopardy is unavailing (see, Harvey-Cook v. Steel, 124 A.D.2d 709, 710, 508 N.Y.S.2d 220;  see also, Matter of Barnes v. Tofany, 27 N.Y.2d 74, 78, 313 N.Y.S.2d 690, 261 N.E.2d 617;  U.S. ex rel. Marcus v. Hess, 317 U.S. 537, 549, 63 S.Ct. 379, 386-87, 87 L.Ed. 443;  Helvering v. Mitchell, 303 U.S. 391, 399, 58 S.Ct. 630, 633, 82 L.Ed. 917).

The petitioner's remaining contentions are without merit.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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