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Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Disgraced California judge, wife charged after Southport hotel fracas

Updated 1:02 pm, Thursday, January 23, 2014
  • Paul Seeman, a former California judge, was charged with disorderly conduct after an argument at The Delamar hotel last weekend. Photo: Contributed Photo / Fairfield Citizen

    Paul Seeman, a former California judge, was charged with disorderly conduct after an argument at The Delamar hotel last weekend.

    Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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A disbarred lawyer and former California judge, who pleaded guilty last year to bilking an elderly neighbor, visiting Westport relatives with his wife was arrested Monday night after a fellow guest at The Delamar hotel in the Southport section of town reported the couple was embroiled in a noisy fight.

Paul Seeman, 59, and Kristin Seeman, 69, were each issued a summons for disorderly conduct.

Paul Seeman, who police said left the hotel for the night after the incident, is currently serving a sentence of five years probation for stealing from an elderly neighbor in Berkeley, Calif. He pleaded guilty last year to one count of elder theft and perjury, after facing 32 criminal counts, including 12 counts of perjury and three counts of grand theft and elder theft.

According to affidavits in the California case, Seeman befriended the elderly woman, who died in 2010 at the age of 97, when her husband fell at home in 1998. Seeman secured power of attorney over the couple's financial matters, which continued after the woman's husband died. The affidavit said that in September 2004 Seeman borrowed $250,000 from the widow's accounts, and failed to make re-payments. He also set up two trust accounts for the woman, naming himself as sole beneficiary of her home.

Seeman's wife, Kristin, was named a successor trustee for one of the trusts. Both trusts contained language that stated "no accounting or reports shall be required of the trustee." The woman's worth was estimated by California officials at least $2 million, according to news accounts

A revocation of the power of attorney by the widow was apparently ignored by Seeman.

Following his arrest in 2012, Seeman was first placed on leave from the California judicial bench, and later resigned. He was subsequently disbarred from practicing law in California. He had been appointed to the bench in 2009 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Fairfield police said The Delamar hotel manager was notified Monday by a guest about an argument and physical fight that was taking place in another room.

Kristin Seeman told police she wanted to "communicate" with her husband, and tried to follow him into the bathroom at which point she told police that he pushed her. Police said she had scratches on her hand and forearm, while Paul Seeman had an injured lip that the police report indicates was caused when Kristin Seeman bit him.

They both appeared Tuesday in Bridgeport Superior Court, and pleaded not guilty to the disorderly conduct charges. Their next scheduled court appearance is June 25.