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Rather than face disbarment, a former partner at Kelley Drye & Warren has resigned from the New York State Bar for stealing at least $110,000 from the firm. Jay R. Kolmar, 46, a real estate partner at Kelley Drye until last October, stole the six-figure sum over a 10-year period in $250 increments. He thus likely committed more than 400 individual acts of theft from his firm. Kolmar, who worked in both Kelley Drye’s New York and Parsippany, N.J., offices, admitted his misconduct in an affidavit of resignation submitted in November to the Disciplinary Committee of the Appellate Division, 1st Department. He stated he would have no defense on the merits to charges of professional misconduct. In a decision released Tuesday the 1st Department granted the committee’s request for an order accepting Kolmar’s resignation from the Bar and striking his name from the roll of attorneys. The money Kolmar took was from the 317-lawyer firm’s petty cash account. He generally claimed to be seeking reimbursement for gratuities paid to title companies during real estate closings. Kelley Drye disbursed some $161,383 to Kolmar for this purpose. In his affidavit, Kolmar stated that he thought around $50,000 was legitimate reimbursement for work-related expenses, but he admitted he used the rest for personal matters. Kolmar stated that he had repaid the firm all the money he had improperly withdrawn. He also said he had been told the firm had made amends to his clients. John Callagy, the chairman of Kelley Drye, declined to comment on the matter. According to Kolmar’s affidavit, he took a leave of absence in June 2004 after the firm discovered his misconduct. He formally resigned in October, shortly after he reported himself to the disciplinary committee, which then launched an investigation. Kolmar’s conduct was in violation of Disciplinary Rule 1-102(A)(4), which prohibits lawyers from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. A graduate of Colgate University and Cornell University Law School, Kolmar was admitted to practice in New York in 1984.

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