Attorney gets probation
extended for alcohol violation

A former attorney who had finished nearly two years of a five-year term of probation for stealing from former clients was sentenced to two days in jail and a new five-year term of probation for violating court-imposed conditions.

Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto ruled yesterday that Mark Cusmano violated terms of his probation by purchasing alcohol for a minor last year.

Cusmano was to possess no alcohol as part of conditions imposed after he was convicted of forging client signatures and keeping other people's settlement checks totaling $165,500.

Cusmano said he was ready to fight the alcohol prohibition charge but instead pleaded guilty last year to the misdemeanor charge and was fined $25. Yesterday, Cusmano said he only pleaded because he was told by his probation officer that his probation would not be revoked.

Deputy Prosecutor Randal Lee asked the court to resentence Cusmano to five years of probation with 30 days in jail because of the seriousness of the violation.

Cusmano said yesterday he had run into a liquor store to purchase a quart of beer for a baby sitter who cared for his two children. Outside the store, he bumped into a female he thought he knew who asked him to buy a 40-ounce Mickey's malt liquor and gave him money.

He was arrested outside after returning the money to the girl.

His attorney, Howard Luke, argued that Cusmano has been a model probationer and pointed to the fact that his probation officer did not feel the arrest warranted a revocation of his probation.

After serving a year in prison for the earlier conviction, Cusmano has been teaching classes at Remington College and taking classes at Chaminade while being the sole caregiver of his two young children, Luke said.


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