Zaccaro Seeks to Retain Broker’s License
NEW YORK (AP) _ John Zaccaro, saying his business has suffered since his wife, Geraldine Ferraro, ran for vice president, has asked a state hearing officer not to punish him further for his illegal actions in a property deal.
″To be accused of being untrustworthy, and to be involved in being taken advantage of by another individual, I think I suffered enough,″ Zaccaro said at an administrative hearing Monday. ″I want to go back to work.″
The state Department of State could suspend or revoke Zaccaro’s real estate broker’s license because of his role in the property deal. He pleaded guilty in January to a misdemeanor criminal charge in the case.
The plea ″was a pill that I swallowed and it’s a consequence that I suffered,″ Zaccaro told hearing officer Barry Bohan in a 11/2 -hour appearance. ″But it’s very important to me that nothing happens with my license.″
Zaccaro, whose wife was the 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee, said his Manhattan real estate business has suffered since the campaign focused scrutiny on his dealings. He said he is managing fewer apartment buildings for fear publicity about him would prompt residents’ complaints.
″I have to start my business all over again,″ he testified. ″It has hurt. I have not really made any money for the last six or eight months.″
Zaccaro, 52, pleaded guilty in state Supreme Court on Jan. 7 to ″scheming to defraud″ for altering an appraisal report and overstating his net worth while trying to help a client buy five Queens apartment buildings last year. He was sentenced to 150 hours of community service.
Outside the hearing room, Zaccaro said he chose not to fight the criminal charges for fear of political and media pressure on the court.
″I didn’t want to experiment with the feelings of a judge or a jury,″ he said. ″I decided that this was the best way - to take a plea.″
The administrative charges also allege Zaccaro used a company in the deal that was not licensed as a real estate brokerage. His lawyers contended the role of the company, The Teig Corp., did not require a license.
Moreover, Zaccaro testified he was hoodwinked by a disbarred lawyer who was involved in the transaction. He said the changes in the documents were the other man’s idea and Teig was his corporation.
Zaccaro owns or manages about 25 commercial and residential properties in the city. Loss or suspension of his broker’s license would bar him from acting as a third party in property sales.
As well as revocation or suspension, Bohan could recommend fining Zaccaro up to $1,000 per violation, or could propose a reprimand, or no action. The decision is up to the secretary of state, Gail Shaffer, who usually follows the hearing officer’s recommendation, said department spokesman Bill Brown.
Bohan allowed up to a month for lawyers to file closing papers in the case and said he did not know when he would rule.