New Jersey Corruption – a Vietnam Veteran’s Fight

 In Politics, Veterans

Jack Cunningham is a US Marine Vietnam War Veteran from Sussex, New Jersey. For over a decade, he has battled for justice in the State of New Jersey, but has continually come up against a system that appears to protect itself against intrusion. His complaint has been in the hands of the Department of Justice since May, 2017.

What happened that he needed to file a complaint? He had been served with a divorce after 25 years of marriage. He was threatened with loss of custody of two of his children, which for someone with a 100% disabled rating from PTSD, caused panic. He hired Edward Buschico, an attorney from the Maynard and Truland law firm. But neither the attorney nor his law partner Joe Truland,  ever responded to the court or to Mr. Cunningham, which caused Mr. Cunningham to end up in “divorce default,” and a court hearing was set.

After  attempting to obtain a response from the law firm, Jack contacted the State District 10 Committee on Ethics, who simply responded just a few days before the court hearing: ‘ we can’t help you, go get another law firm.’ Too late to do so based on his income and the proximity of the court hearing. He would have to represent himself, since he had not received any information from the law firm.

Here is an excerpt of his narrative:

When the court case was announced, Jack was about to move up to the defendant chair when a lawyer introduced himself to the court as Maynard & Truland attorney Robert Correale and he was representing John Cunningham in the Case management appearance. Jack was completely dumbfounded, who was attorney Robert Correale and what happened to the divorce default? What happened to the divorce attorney Edward Buschio and why were the attorneys switched, and when? He had received no written or verbal communications from the firm that his representation was officially switched and wondered if the law firm was allowed to switch attorneys like that without notifying him or asking for permission.

At the end of the case management hearing, Jack tried to get some answers from Correale, but was brushed off by him claiming that he had no time to talk. (Two years later, Jack would receive some misleading, vague and even perjurious statements from Robert Correale about many of his questions when Correale was forced to swear in New Jersey Supreme Court Certifications. It was also in Robert Correale’s Certification that Jack would learn how Correale described this day’s first meeting between the two of them. Jack was even mocked for his PTSD in Correale’s New Jersey Supreme Court Certification.)

Corruption- Conflict of Interest

After digging into Robert Correale’s background, Jack determined a giant sized conflict of interest, and corruption. It should be noted here that the law firm of Maynard and Truland has been dissolved. Have to wonder if it had anything to do with the scrutiny Jack has brought to it. You can read his journey in the attempt to take on the NJ system here.

Here is a portion of a letter he wrote to Attorney General Sessions:

“Robert Correale was a general-practice attorney for the Maynard & Truland Law Firm of Morristown, New Jersey. While practicing law at Maynard & Truland, Robert Correale was also serving as an assistant district attorney in a number of different New Jersey towns and counties.

According to the attached Maynard & Truland webpage dedicated to him, besides wearing all of these impressive and influential hats, he was listed as the local Vice-Chairman of the New Jersey Supreme Court Office of Attorney Ethics District X committee. This position allowed him almost god-like influence around the state as well as his fellow attorneys of Maynard & Truland. Attorneys and even judges’ careers could end from his, and his committee’s judgments and decisions. Correale understood the influence he had around New Jersey, and his law firms’ partners Joe Truland and James Maynard were ready to use it to their advantage, and for one of their own client’s disadvantage.

Robert Correale and his fellow Maynard & Truland lawyers were able to use his considerable powers to block Superior Court Legal Malpractice charges and official NJ Supreme Court Attorney Ethics charges against them, but this was minor compared to the New Jersey’s Supreme Court, which openly allowed this unethical behavior and even openly protected them in the process.  In the past 16 years, ‘Reasonable Court Accommodations’ from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) could have helped me; instead, I was even mocked for my PTSD in sworn New Jersey Supreme Court Certifications…

…Besides a Superior Court transcript disappearing into thin air, perjury was permitted in Supreme Court Attorney Certifications and the evidence goes on.”

In early 2017, Mr. Cunningham was able to send enough letters to finally get the attention of New Jersey Representative Josh Gottheimer.

“Veterans who return home from serving our nation should not face discrimination and must receive equal protection under the law.” Rep Josh Gottheimer, D-NJ

On October 13, Mr. Cunningham was advised by Rep Gottheimer’s office that the DOJ was still looking into his case, but had not given them a timetable for response. He stated that his office has called the DOJ every two weeks for updates. Mr Gottheimer  has stepped out on an extremely short limb to help Jack Cunningham battle the New Jersey Supreme Court.

“Congressman Gottheimer can lose his attorney law career just as easy to New Jersey’s Supreme Court Office of Attorney Ethics as any other New Jersey State Attorney. But he stands up with his ideals and for the rights of his people… even a PTSD disabled vet, who has been fighting painfully-alone for his Due Process against New Jersey’s Supreme Court Office of Attorney Ethics for 17 years.” Jack Cunningham

As Jack and Rep Gottheimer wait for the Department of Justice to respond, one things stands out: for the first time in over a decade, Jack has an advocate. Rep Gottheimer is a Democrat.

“His support is giving me hope that I have not had in many years. that means a great deal to this PTSD survivor.” Jack Cunningham

 

Featured photo (provided): Jack Cunningham and his youngest daughter.

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