Leary countersues in continuing romance, real estate, crime drama

by Thom Nadeau of Notable Trials Former Elk Grove City Council member Michael P. Leary has filed a civil lawsuit claiming a cabal of wome...

by Thom Nadeau
of Notable Trials

Former Elk Grove City Council member Michael P. Leary has filed a civil lawsuit claiming a cabal of women notary executives cheated him of thousands of dollars through an improper transfer of title.

In the suit filed Aug. 18 in Sacramento County Superior Court, Leary alleges that Abby Patneaud, Catherine Picton, Alyce Maselli and “Does 1 through 15” conspired via North American Title Company to defraud him of an unspecified amount in excess of $25,000.

Leary is currently facing a criminal trial on four charges he defrauded Maselli of an unspecified amount in a disputed transfer of title for a residence at 3301 Marina Cove Circle, Elk Grove valued at $610,000.

Leary was arraigned in October 2009 on charges of grand theft fraud and forgery related to the title transfer between himself and his former girlfriend Maselli in 2006. The trial in People v. Leary, #09F07685 is now slated to start Sept. 14.

If convicted in that case, Leary could be sentenced to as many as 12 years in state prison and fined up to $75,000. He currently remains free on bail.

This new civil lawsuit, Michael Leary v. North American Title Company et al, case #34-2010-00085705,was filed in propria persona, or “in pro per,” as courthouse slang would have it.

That simply means Leary filed the civil complaint as an individual acting on his own behalf without the benefit – or the expense – of an attorney.

What the suit claims ...

The suit claims that “One or about Aug. 23, 2005 Defendant Patneaud, a licensed notary public employed by NATC to provide notary services and acting as an agent for Defendant Maselli, owed Plaintiff a duty of care and failed to exercise reasonable care in provision of notary services provided in connection with certain documents associated with the sale of real property in the city of Elk Grove, to wit Defendant Patneaud, acting in concert with Defendant Maselli, knowingly notarized a deed that fraudulently conveyed an interest in Plaintiff’s property from Plaintiff to Defendant Maselli” and that “NATC is vicariously responsible for the actions of its employees who commit negligent actions within the scope of their employment.”

The cause of action goes on to say that, “Further, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants’ negligent conduct in this matter was the product of oppression, fraud, and malice warranting an award of exemplary damages….”

The six-page complaint cites “Does 6 through 11” as “agents or employees of other named defendants.”

“Does 12 through 15” are described as “persons whose capacities are unknown to the plaintiff “ i.e., Leary.

Naming NATC as a defendant would add the corporation’s deeper pockets to the general mix.

The causes of action are listed as “general negligence” and “other” on the grounds because Leary suffered “wage loss,” “general damage” and loss of earning capacity” as the result of the defendants’ actions.

Leary was placed on placed on paid adminstrative leave from his position as a lieutenant with the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department when news broke that he was being arrested and charged with criminal offenses. He had been with the department for 29 years. Leary's employment was subsequently terminated earlier this year.

This new civil filing could be interpreted as an attempt by Leary to re-orient the plotline of this long-running drama of love, money and politics from one of “her and the DA versus him” to one of “him versus her and her employer and co-workers.”

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s initial arrest document in the four-count criminal case against Leary lists Patneaud as “original notary” in the challenged deal and Picton as “original escrow officer.”

The same document listed the value of the property in question as $608,000 as of Jan. 27, 2006 with an original deed of trust recorded with the original purchasing grant deed in the amount of $354,500.

This court filing came to the attention of Elk Grove News late Thursday night, too late to contact Leary or other parties for their comments, if any.

Special note: the spellings of Maselli’s first name vary, “Alyc” and “Alyce.” They are given here as they appear in the documents cited.

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Josie said...

Maybe Mike Leary and Pat Hume could work together and get an attorney at a discount rate...2 for 1 price. Throw them together and could even cut court costs and save the taxpayers money.

Unknown said...

Hey Connie,

Maybe you should pull a Leary. Sue Hume, Emerald Park Company and the 4G's. Sounds like you've got a good case. Arson threats and legal harrassment. How much money did the sliver-spoon-fed trust fund baby defraud you out of?

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