October 30, 2013
NEW JERSEY REAL ESTATE COMMISSION, Complainant-Respondent,
DOUGLAS R. TONGE, Respondent-Appellant.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued October 17, 2013
On appeal from the New Jersey Real Estate Commission, Department of Banking and Insurance, Docket No. MER-05-018.
Douglas R. Tonge, appellant, argued the cause pro se.
William B. Puskas, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent (John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney; Lewis A. Scheindlin, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Mr. Puskas, on the brief.
Before Judges Fuentes, Simonelli and Fasciale.
On October 18, 2010, the New Jersey Real Estate Commission (NJREC or Commission) found appellant Douglas R. Tonge and his company Just New Homes, Inc., violated N.J.S.A. 45:15-17(k) by paying rebates or compensation to persons not licensed by the Commission; N.J.A.C. 11:5-6.4(a), breached the fiduciary duty owed to their customers; N.J.S.A. 45:15-17(e), failed to deal fairly with all parties; and N.J.A.C. 11:5-6.1(r), made false or misleading statements in promotional materials.
The Commission: (1) revoked Tonge's real estate broker license for five years; (2) imposed a $500 fine for each of the 247 violations under N.J.S.A. 45:15-17(k), for a total monetary sanction of $123, 500; (3) directed Tonge to pay the fines within one year of the final order; and (4) conditioned the restoration of his license upon the completion of the five-year revocation period and the full payment of all monetary sanctions. Tonge appealed the Commission's decision to this court. New Jersey Real Estate Commission v. Douglas R. Tonge and Just New Homes, Inc., No. A-1648-10 (App. Div. October 30, 2013).
While the appeal challenging the Commission's decision was pending before another panel of this court, Tonge requested the Commission to stay the execution of the sanctions imposed on October 18, 2010, until the appeal was decided. The Commission denied Tonge's application for a stay.
In this appeal, Tonge seeks an order from this court reversing the Commission's decision to deny the stay. Because our opinion upholding the Commission's disciplinary findings and sanctions has been filed and released to the parties and placed as an unpublished opinion on the judiciary's website simultaneously with this opinion, the issue raised by Tonge here is now moot.