A lawyer who allegedly misrepresents the expenses of an estate to a Probate Court engages in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(4) of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Allegedly, the New Haven Probate Court appointed the respondent attorney, Clifford Fritzell III, to serve as the administrator of the estate of Sheila Gardner, after Gardner passed away in 2007. An initial accounting indicated that the estate's value was about $3,601. Allegedly, the respondent attorney informed the individual who handled the funeral arrangements that there was no money to pay for funeral arrangements. The respondent allegedly informed the Probate Court that there were no funeral expenses and requested $2,700 for his work as administrator. The individual who handled the funeral arrangements filed a grievance complaint, alleging that the respondent attorney misrepresented that there was no money to pay for funeral arrangements. In 2011, the respondent went on an interim suspension from the practice of law. The Statewide Grievance Committee found, by clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent attorney falsely informed the complainant that there was no money to pay funeral expenses, in violation of Rule 8.4(3). The Statewide Grievance Committee also found that the respondent attorney misrepresented to the Probate Court that there were no funeral expenses and did not respond to questions of a local grievance panel, in violation of Rule 8.4(4). The Statewide Grievance Committee ordered the respondent's presentment to Superior Court for discipline and ordered that Disciplinary Counsel add a charge that the respondent failed to properly safeguard property.

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