Law School dean has ‘complete confidence’ in Durso, sentenced to three years probation after bank fraud

By on March 13, 2011

Mary Ellen Durso will stay on board as Quinnipiac’s Law School registrar after being sentenced to three years probation for bank fraud and conspiracy, according to Law School Dean Brad Saxton.

A Thursday e-mail from Saxton said that she will remain employed by the university.

“I have conducted a careful review of the situation and continue to have complete confidence in Dean Durso’s ability to perform her duties here responsibly,” Saxton said in the e-mail, sent out to law students, faculty and administration.

Durso, the Law School’s registrar and assistant dean of academic affairs,  was sentenced to three years of probation on March 9, according to a Wednesday release. She pleaded guilty in December 2010 to one count of conspiracy and five counts of filing false returns.

As part of the sentence, issued by U.S. District Court Judge Mark R. Kravitz, Durso will spend the first six months in home confinement.

University spokesman John Morgan would not comment on Durso’s ability to work as registrar during her time in home confinement: “The university does not comment on personnel matters,” he said in an e-mail.

According to Saxton’s e-mail, “a number of” people asked about whether Durso’s sentencing will affect her position at Quinnipiac.

U.S. District Attorney David Fein said that Durso served as the straw owner of a Florida condominium, and filed a materially false loan to benefit her co-conspirators. (Read more on the initial charges)

Fein said Durso filed false tax returns from 2004-2008, resulting in tax loss of about $46,000 to the government.

Kravitz ordered Durso to pay restitution to federal mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, as well as back taxes, penalties and interest to the government.

Read the initial indictment below:
Kottage, Hathaway & Durso Indictment

Comments

About Joe Pelletier

5 Comments

  1. Mike

    March 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I have the highest regard for Brad Saxton and his judgment; however, I’m not at all sure that retaining Ms. Durso is in the best interest of the law school. The law is an honorable profession. Those choosing to enter the profession are bound by a code of ethics. The foundation of this code is personal integrity and honesty. I realize that Ms. Durso is not a member of the legal profession; however, she holds the title “associate dean” in a law school. She is now a convicted felon for federal crimes that impute her honesty. This is not a trifling matter. Ms. Durso has daily contact with the students of the school. Quinnipiac Law School holds its students to the highest ethical standards. On the web site Ms. Durso is listed as a key administrator. Quinnipiac Law School should hold its administrators, faculty and staff to the same high standards. As a graduate of this institution I expect nothing less.

  2. andrea

    March 16, 2011 at 7:18 am

    I agree with Mike. The dean should provide her with a good letter of recommendation and tell her that her services are no longer required. It is a LAW school and the registrar and dean of the school should not be a convicted felon. This will give the law school and the entire university a black eye. Of course he does not mention how the home confinement will be addressed either. Hopefully Ms. Durso will resign.

  3. Joseph K.

    March 16, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Now that Ms. Durso is a convicted felon, who plead guilty by the way on Dec. 14, 2010, and keeping her on board is setting a bad precedent for QU Law School. In essence, it is sending a poor message to any students, faculty, and administrators that it is okay to lie, cheat, or steal. In my opinion, Dean Saxton needs to rethink his position on Ms. Durso so that the integrity of QU Law School isn’t tarnished from this point forward.

  4. debra

    March 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    how nice mary ellen durso gets to stay on in her professional capacity at Quinnipiac University. She te .woman got convicted on March 9th two years to the date my brother killed himself because he couldn’t live with the guilt.

  5. Anon1

    March 21, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Deborah, i fail to see how your brother’s suicide is related in any way to this, do not pair two different subjects, it is the way that people go when they have nothing really to say and must rely on appealing to emotionality.

    As for the registrar staying on the board, the question to ask is whether or not there is a precedent, Could we compare the situation to Martha Stewart, since she was also placed under house arrest for her felony and still rendered service from her house I believe (I may be wrong, please tell me if it is so)

    Second, do the records of the Registrar’s Office for the Law School show any foul play, or was it simply personal taxes?

    Third: Would she have been hired based on her experience if she had applied with the same charges?