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Emery Appointed to Judicial Conduct Commission Richard D. Emery, a well-known civil rights lawyer, has been named by state Senate Minority Leader David A. Paterson, D-Manhattan, to the 11-member Commission on Judicial Conduct. Mr. Emery, a name partner at Emery Celli Cuti Brinckerhoff & Abady, succeeds Henry T. Berger, a solo practitioner specializing in election and labor law who had been chairman for 13 of the 16 years he served on the commission. The commission is expected to select a new chair when it next meets on Thursday. Mr. Berger, citing his length of service, had asked Mr. Paterson not to reappoint him. In naming Mr. Emery, Mr. Paterson made his first appointment to the commission, which has one remaining vacancy created by the November resignation of Mary Holt Moore, a retired school teacher who had been appointed by Governor George E. Pataki. � Daniel Wise State Withdraws From Controversial Database Program New York has dropped out of a multistate crime database program that civil liberties groups have criticized as an invasion of privacy, state officials said yesterday. Questions over federal funding for the Matrix database and its potential benefits led state officials to withdraw from the program, said Lynn Rasic, a spokeswoman for the New York State Office of Public Security. State officials had also previously cited privacy issues as a concern. Matrix lets states share criminal, prison and vehicle information with each other and cross-reference it with up to 20 billion records in databases held by Seisint Inc., a private company based in Boca Raton, Fla. The Seisint records include people’s property, Internet domains, their address history, utility connections, bankruptcies, civil court history, liens, voter registration and business filings. � Associated Press Hospital Settles Claims Over Medicare Payments Montefiore Medical Center yesterday agreed to pay $12 million to the U.S. government to settle claims that it received more than $13 million in Medicare payments that it should not have received, and then failed to disclose them. The payments were made to the hospital in error by Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield to cover Graduate Medical Education and other expenses. Montefiore allegedly wiped about half of the overpayments off its books in 1996. In a complaint filed by the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the hospital was accused of making false records to conceal its obligation to the government and unjust enrichment, among other claims. The government was alerted to the discrepancy by a whistleblower suit, filed under seal, by Benjamin Climaco, the former associate director of reimbursement at the hospital. His attorneys, Timothy J. McInnis and Kenneth J. Nolan, said Mr. Climaco could receive from 15 percent to 25 percent of the settlement under federal whistleblower laws. The settlement was approved yesterday by Southern District Judge Shira Scheindlin, Mr. McInnis said. � Tom Perrotta Fordham Wins Regional ABA Competition Fordham University School of Law last weekend took first and second place in the American Bar Association Mediation Competition regional event in Buffalo. The win marks the second time in three years that Fordham claimed the top two places in the regionals. Second-year students Trudy Fenster and Claire Cusack, the first-place team, will compete in the national competition next month in Manhattan against nine other regional winners. Court Seeks Comment on Housing Judges The Advisory Council of the Civil Court’s Housing Part is seeking comment to assist in its evaluation of the reappointment of Brooklyn Judges Thomas Fitzpatrick, Gary Marton and Michael Pinckney. Comments should be sent to Judge Stanley Ostrau, Civil Court’s Administrative Office, Room 1240, 111 Centre Street, New York, N.Y., 10013.

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