Parsippany’s Legal Fees Paid to Township Attorney Approaching $3 Million
as Mayor Hides the Bills and Spending from the Public and Council
Parsippany Township Council President Paul Carifi, Jr. on Friday, March 7 calls on Mayor James R. Barberio to immediately remove Township Attorney John Inglesino from his post for egregious ethics rules violations or the township council will independently act to remove the attorney.
Additionally, Carifi cites Barberio continues to violate the public trust in his unilateral attempts to conflict Carifi and fellow Councilman Louis Valori from voting on all matters related to the appointment and questioning of the Township Attorney and investigation into the massive legal bills.
Councilman Valori recently obtained 1099 forms from John Inglesino’s law firm from 2010 to 2013 outlining legal fees received from Parsippany Township for legal services rendered which amounts to nearly $3 million. (An email to the Mayor’s Office, as well as his personal email, and John Ingelsino’s office went unanswered when asking questions regarding this amount and to comment on this article)
“This Mayor has been given ample opportunity to work collaboratively with this Council as we serve our citizens and work vigorously to lower their taxes and municipal spending.”
“Instead, Barberio has created a political firestorm in his woeful, misguided attempt to hide the multi-million dollar legal bills from the public.”
“Our hard working residents so far have been hit with almost $3 million in legal expenses which keep climbing. Taxpayers have a right to know about this problematic, reckless and costly system the Mayor and Township Attorney have in place to keep residents and the Council in the dark.”
This wrongdoing is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” said Carifi.Councilman Louis Valori
Council President Carifi and Councilman Valori provided the Township with a copy of an opinion letter from Attorney Eric Bernstein which clearly shows that neither councilmember has any conflict on voting on matters regarding Mr. Inglesino or his appointment.
In his opinion letter, Attorney Bernstein further cites both case law and rules indicating that Mr. Inglesino has a conflict with Councilmen Carifi and Valori and Parsippany Township and, as a result, Mr. Inglesino should step down immediately.
In addition, Attorney Bernstein has reviewed the court records and said records indicate that Mr. Inglesino has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit involving the Township and has further undisclosed conflict which causes concern and requires immediate recusal and termination of the attorney/client relationship.
“The Mayor’s actions and phantom “conflict charges” have created delays and expenses for the Township. It is time to extinguish this political firestorm once and for all which is distracting elected officials from doing the people’s work by removing John Inglesino from the position of Township Attorney. If the Mayor fails to do so, then I will ask the Council to take all action and measures available to it to ensure that the rule of law is complied with and the people’s business can be conducted without further delay.
This is a debacle manipulated by Barberio which, if not resolved by him, will ultimately be addressed by the Council,” Carifi stated.
Carifi noted if the Mayor Barberio refuses to remove Mr. Inglesino, or Mr. Inglesino does not resign effective Monday, March 10, 2014 at 4:00 p.m., the Council will consider a resolution removing him and taking all action available under law and in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct to protect the interest of Parsippany-Troy Hills and its citizens.
Carifi proposes having Attorney Anthony M. Bucco cover the Council’s Tuesday, March 11, 2014 meeting in the interim.
“During the past year, the Mayor has made promise after promise to township residents: He promised to put displaced Lower Lake Hiawatha residents back in their homes after Hurricane Irene; and he promised to purchase Waterview land with open space funds; but has delivered on none of it.
If Barberio addressed these pertinent issues with the same veracity and energy he spent over the last two months obstructing this Council from doing the community’s business, reviewing Inglesino’s legal bills and voting on his reappointment – these important issues would be closer to resolution with the quality of life in Parsippany-Troy Hills much improved.
Rather, this Mayor continuously turns his back on our residents’ and township’s immediate needs to carry out a political vendetta at the public’s expense,” Carifi said.
Editors Note: An email to the Mayor’s Office, as well as his personal email, and to John Ingelsino’s office went unanswered when asking questions regarding the legal services rendered which amounts to nearly $3 million, and requesting comment on this article)