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UNE to move its College of Osteopathic Medicine to Portland

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Funding from the Harold Alfond Foundation will help the University of New England move the College of Osteopathic Medicine from the main campus in Biddeford to a 100,000-square-foot building in Portland, the university announced Tuesday.

The $30 million grant also will be used to accelerate high-growth undergraduate and graduate programs to meet student demand and workforce needs in areas like aquaculture, entrepreneurship, criminal justice and sports media communication, among others, officials said.

The move of the College of Osteopathic Medicine will put it on the Portland campus along with other health-related programs like dentistry, pharmacy, physician assistant, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, dental hygiene and nurse anesthesia.

“With a truly integrated health care campus, like none other in our region, our health professions students will capitalize on opportunities for cross-professional learning, enhance their team-based competencies, and will benefit from amazing new learning spaces that will complement UNE’s existing assets,” UNE President James Herbert said.

The university hopes to break ground on the new building in the spring 2022 and looks to the fall 2023 as a targeted completion date, officials said.

The grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation is part of a $500 million commitment over 12 years to provide an economic boost to the state.

“We believe that two fundamental components of a bright future for Maine are a high-quality education and a healthy population, and UNE is a significant contributor toward both of these goals,” said Greg Powell, chairman of the foundation.

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Portland criminal defense attorney gives up law license, ends decades-long career amid charges of theft

UPDATE OCT. 12: This story has been updated to correctly state that the Oregon State Bar had made accusations against Gary Bertoni for alleged wrongdoing between 2015 to 2019.

Gary Bertoni, who for many years made frequent appearances in Portland courtrooms while representing some of Multnomah County’s high profile defendants, has surrendered his law license in Oregon amid a swirl of criminal and administrative allegations — including that he stole client money.

The Oregon Supreme Court on Sept. 30 accepted Bertoni’s “Form B” resignation, ending a law career that started in Oregon 42 years ago and showed no public signs of trouble until Bertoni had reached his early 60s.

Bertoni, now 69, didn’t respond to requests for comment for this story. He is now living in Arizona, according to his resignation letter.

At the height of his law career, Bertoni once had approximately 15 employees at his Portland area law firm. He represented some of Oregon’s youngest defendants who were facing some of the most serious crimes, among others: A 15-year-old boy who bludgeoned a 71-year-old man bloody and unconscious at a Gresham MAX stop; a 16-year-old who shot to death a 17-year-old who was returning home from saying good-bye to his dying mother at OHSU; and a drunken driver with a 22-year history of alcohol-fueled arrests who killed a woman after T-boning her car.

Gary Bertoni

Gary Bertoni has relinquished his law license in Oregon. (File photo/The Oregonian)

But Bertoni clearly became engulfed in financial problems. In 2012, his license was suspended for 150 days after the Oregon State Bar accused him of taking for his own personal use as much as $44,000 that had been set aside for clients’ defense expenses. He later returned it, the bar said. The bar wasn’t able to prove that Bertoni used the money for personal use, but Bertoni signed an agreement with the bar that referred to the inappropriate movement of money and incomplete record-keeping.

In August 2018, Bertoni was sentenced in federal court to five years of probation, three months of weekend home detention and 500 hours of community service for failing to pay employment taxes. He also was ordered to pay the Internal Revenue Service more than $181,000. The government had alleged that Bertoni had used the money for personal enrichment, but Bertoni’s defense attorney argued that Bertoni had made poor investments and disputed any contention that Bertoni had lived extravagantly.

In September 2018, Bertoni again was suspended from practicing law, this time for 18 months after the state Supreme Court cited “a pattern of disregard for the interests of his clients.” That included improperly holding onto client funds and failing to keep clients informed.

This past July, Bertoni acknowledged accusations the Oregon State Bar had made against him for wrongdoing from 2015 to 2019 as part of a signed document agreeing to relinquish his law license. Among those accusations was that Bertoni used $2,500 for his personal use even though a criminal defendant had given the money to him to go