The former mayor of Verona, Matthew Kirnan, has pleaded guilty to stealing $750,000 from three clients, officials at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday.
Kirnan, 52, a disbarred lawyer, pleaded guilty on Monday before state Superior Court Judge Sherry Hutchins-Henderson.
Between 2009 and 2010, he took money belonging to two clients that was supposed to be used to pay their outstanding mortgages and another client that was to help pay inheritance taxes.
Kirnan had a law firm in West Caldwell and practiced real estate law.
He pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal that may require him to spend seven years in prison.
“This defendant was a trusted attorney and a respected member of the community, who used that trust to take advantage of unsuspecting members of the public,’’ said Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Walter Dirkin, who handled the case.
Kirnan served as Verona mayor from 1997 through 1999 as well as terms as the township’s deputy mayor and councilman.