Attorney in Porreca case suspended from practicing law

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A defense attorney in the high-profile Jacquelyn Porreca murder case was suspended from practicing law by an appellate court Thursday over questions of professional misconduct.

According to court documents, a New York State appeals court found Gaspar Castillo guilty of “professional misconduct immediately threatening the public interest”, based on “uncontroverted evidence” and Castillo’s own admissions.

At the time of the ruling Castillo was representing Michael Chmielewski, one of the co-defendants accused of killing Colonie salon worker, Jaclyn Porreca in August of 2015.

The documents specifically mention Castillo’s “failure to properly maintain client funds and an escrow account, his commingling of personal funds in his attorney trust account, his failure to, upon request, promptly pay or deliver certain funds to his client that he or she was entitled to receive, his failure to maintain required bookkeeping records and engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.”

The investigation into Castillo’s misconduct was conducted by the Committee on Professional Standards, a legal watchdog group under the Appellate Division’s Third Department.

The appellate court commanded Castillo to desist and refrain from practicing law in any form, including as a clerk or employee of another attorney. Castillo is also forbidden from appearing as an attorney before any legal body, or giving any legal opinion or advice.

Castillo is opposing the ruling, and has been given 20 days to submit a written request for a post-suspension hearing.

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