Former Rep. Ray Gallison may be on the hook for up to $500,000 of a former client's estate that he allegedly held onto for several years, a Barrington Probate Court judge ruled Monday morning.
Additionally, the judge released $500,000 of the estate to the non-profit organizations to whom former Barrington resident Ray Medley bequeathed his money before he died in 2012. The groups should get the money in the next couple weeks.
Probate Judge Marvin Homonov issued a citation Monday morning to Mr. Gallison for "unfaithful administration of the estate." The citation would force Mr. Gallison to forfeit the $500,000 personal bond he took out when he became the executor of Mr. Medley's estate. The bond is common for executors to "guarantee good conduct," according to attorney Tucker Wright, who has represented the estate since the Barrington Probate Court removed Mr. Gallison earlier this year.
"We're trying to get in line for any restitution to be made," Mr. Wright said after the Probate hearing Monday, noting he still does not know how much money is missing. "Once the indictments come down, we'll know what the number is."
Mr. Gallison has not been charged with a crime, but he has been under federal and state investigation since he abrupty resigned his seat in the General Assembly and his powerful position as House Finance chairman in May. The former Bristol representative failed to disburse the money in Mr. Medley's estate, instead holding onto cash, stocks, bonds and personal items. He appears to have been hiding more than $700,000, Mr. Wright has said. The FBI seized about $1 million that was under Mr. Gallison’s control.
The attorney has also accused Mr. Gallison of pilfering money from the estate. Mr. Wright provided the court with bank statements showing withdrawals of several thousand dollars. Some of the money went into an unnamed account; some went into an account in Mr. Gallison’s name, Mr. Wright said the records show.
“He was transferring money from Medley’s account into his personal account,” Mr. Wright said. “And he tried to convert some of the stock into his name. All of the stocks — he had control of them all.”
Mr. Wright is now in control of the stocks, which will be sold and divied up among the non-profit porganizations, including Warren United Methodist Church, Massasoit Historical Society and area Masonic lodges. He expects it to take two to three weeks to sell the stocks and divy up the proceeds. Part of the seized money had already been released to be distributed among the non-profits.
Mr. Gallison will have a chance to plead his case on the bond forfeiture citation before the Barrington Probate Court on Feb. 8, if he chooses to do so. Mr. Wright isn't sure he will take the chance to explain himself at that time, given the criminal investigation and potential charges against him.
In additon to the money held in investments, Mr. Gallison had possession of a valuable stamp and coin collection, and the keys to a storage unit containing many of Mr. Medley's possessions. He has since turned the items over to Mr. Wright.
Mr. Gallison is also under investigation in Massachusetts and could be charged with embezzlement in that state, according to a statement by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.