The Disciplinary Review Board having filed a report with the Supreme Court recommending that JOHN R. RUTLEDGE, JR., of TOMS RIVER, who was admitted to the Bar of this State in 1959, be publicly reprimanded for conduct in violation of DR 1-102(A)(4) and (6), and good cause appearing;
It is ORDERED that the findings of the Disciplinary Review Board are hereby adopted and respondent JOHN R. RUTLEDGE, JR., is hereby reprimanded; and it is further
Ordered that the Decision and Recommendation of the Disciplinary Review Board, together with this order and the full record of the matter, be added as a permanent part of the file of said JOHN R. RUTLEDGE, JR., as an attorney at law of the State of New Jersey; and it is further
Ordered that JOHN R. RUTLEDGE reimburse the Ethics Financial Committee for appropriate administrative costs.
Decision and Recommendation of the Disciplinary Review Board
This matter is before the Board based upon a presentment filed by a Special Ethics Master appointed to preside over the
hearing of a complaint filed against Respondent concerning certain of his activities as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Masonic Order of the State of New Jersey. The Board makes the following findings of fact:
In 1975 Respondent was elected to a one year term as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons of New Jersey (Masons). In 1973 a predecessor Grand Master initiated planned vacation trips through a travel agency whereby members would pay lower rates for group vacations. Included in the agreement with the travel agency was that the agency would computerize the Masonic membership list for $7,000. The agency advanced the cost for the lodge and the amount was to be paid back during a two-year period by charging each person taking a tour a $10 fee. The travel agency was to receive a predetermined amount each year with any excess going to charities selected by that Grand Master and his immediate successor. These commissions were not processed through the regular treasury fund of the Grand Lodge, nor were they included in the Lodge's budget. The two immediate preceding Grand Masters accounted for these funds informally by way of reports of their receipt and disbursement.
As Grand Master, Respondent continued the practice of arranging these group vacation trips. Respondent believed that as Grand Master he had authority to accept these travel agency commissions for his own usage. He did not conceive that he was acting as an agent or representative of the Grand Lodge. Respondent expanded this travel program by making similar arrangements with a second travel agency. From one agency, he received the following payments:
1. October 15, 1975 -- $4,000 used for payment on a pending personal loan.
2. December 12, 1975 -- $2,200 which was deposited in his ...