The former head of a Bronx not-for-profit has been disbarred following his federal felony conviction for improperly taking money secured for the group by former assemblyman and current state Labor Commissioner Peter Rivera.
An Appellate Division, Second Department, panel disbarred David Griffiths based on his convictions by a Southern District jury for obstruction of justice, mail fraud and making false statements in documentary submissions to a grand jury.
Griffiths was charged with attempting to cover up his unauthorized appropriation of tens of thousands of dollars from the Neighborhood Enhancement for Training Services program and for plans to take as much as $200,000 more. He was sentenced to three concurrent terms of five months in May 2013, fined $10,000 and required to perform 75 hours of community service.
The Second Department judges noted that Griffiths, who was admitted to the bar in 1976, was suspended for five years as an attorney starting in 2001 for a range of misconduct mainly involving disbursements from his escrow accounts.
Griffiths, of White Plains, was treasurer of Rivera’s campaign committee and a former law partner to the Democratic assemblyman before Griffiths’ suspension as an attorney. The Neighborhood Enhancement for Training Services program received $1.8 million in state appropriations secured by Rivera’s office.
Rivera, who left the Assembly in 2012 upon his appointment as state labor commissioner, denied knowing of the activities by Griffiths which led to his convictions. Matter of Griffiths, 2013-07736, appears on page 5 of the print edition.