Council President Valori issues Resolution to stop Carifi from voting on appointment of new Township Attorney

John Inglesino, Edward Mosberg, Lou Valori and Frank Priore

PARSIPPANY — In a last minute attempt to save Township Attorney John Inglesino from being replaced by the new Administration at the annual reorganization meeting, Council President Louis Valori introduced Resolution No. 2017:187 at the final regular Council meeting held on Tuesday, December 19.

The resolution was approved 3-0 with two members abstaining. Council President Louis Valori, Councilman Michael dePierro and Councilwoman Loretta Gragnani voted to approve the resolution, while Council Vice President Robert Peluso and Councilman Paul Carifi, Jr., abstained.

The resolution appoints Todd M. Galante, Esq. and Piro, Zinna, Cifelli, Paris and Genitempo, LLC, (PiroZinna Firm) as special legal counsel for purposes of advising the Township Council on potential conflicts involving Councilman Paul Carifi, Jr. voting on the appointment of Township Attorney.

It is expected that Mayor-Elect Michael Soriano will nominate a new plenary Township Attorney, as well as Special Township Counsel at the Township Council’s reorganization meeting on January 1, 2018.

Democrat Mayor-elect Michael Soriano campaign promise is to replace current Township Attorney John Inglesino. Soriano has not announced who he will be nominating for Township Attorney.

Township Attorney John Inglesino

Township Attorney John Inglesino was appointed by Mayor James Barberio. During the eight years as Township Attorney, many of the years he was a “hold over” because not all Council members, including Council President Louis Valori, voted for reappointment of Inglesino.

The resolution states “the purpose of the Township Council retaining Mr. Galante and the PiroZinna Firm is to examine and opine on a potential conflict of interest involving Councilman Carifi, that may arise should Councilman Carifi vote on the Nominated Township Attorney or Special Counsel and Mr. Galante and PiroZinna shall prepare and deliver a legal opinion regarding potential conflict of interest as well as any other related issue pertaining thereto, to the Township Council in writing prior to the reorganization meeting scheduled for January 1, 2017. (Editors note: Although the resolution calls for a reorganization meeting on January 1, 2017, the actual reorganization will be held on January 2, 2018).

In addition the resolution states “Mr. Galante and the PiroZinna Firm shall and are hereby further authorized, by this Resolution, to take such other and further action they deem appropriate to prepare certain pleadings, legal papers and legal proceedings, including, but not limited to, an Order to Show Cause, to obtain declaratory judgment and whatever appropriate action and/or other relief as may be appropriate to enforce the purpose and directives of this Resolution, and shall file the same with the Clerk of the Superior Court of New Jersey should Councilman Carifi vote on the appointment of the Nominated Township Attorney or Special Counsel, and otherwise fully prosecute a definitive adjudication on said conflict of interest issue (as well as any other related issues or matters arising or related thereto) even if such full adjudication requires appeals.”

If they are successful in attempting to block Carifi, most likely the vote will be split 2-2 (Republicans dePierro and Gragnani voting against the new appointment, while new Council Democrat Candidates McCarthy and Peterson will vote for the new appointment) and Inglesino could become a hold-over.

Councilman Paul Carifi said “Just another attempt by Barberio to help his buddy Inglesino to continue to charge the residents of Parsippany outrages legal fees. Wasn’t this one of the reasons the residents of Parsippany overwhelmingly voted to get rid of Barberio and Inglesino. I wonder if Barberio, Inglesino and Valori had another Sunday night meeting to come up with this one.

Councilman Paul Carifi, Jr.

The resolution also states “Councilman Carifi’s position on the Township Council creates the potential for a conflict of interest insofar as Councilman Carifi may seek to exercise his vote on the Nominated Township Attorney and any Special Counsel, who would have the authority to affect the outcome of the James Carifi Litigations.”

James Carifi is the brother of Township Councilman Paul Carifi, Jr.

James Carifi has filed two civil actions against the Township, known as Carifi I and Carifi III, and the Township has filed a civil action against James Carifi, known as Carifi II.

Carifi I and Carifi III are at the trial court level, both actions are currently on appeal before the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division. The trial of Carifi II is imminent as the Superior Court of New Jersey has set a firm return date of January 5, 2018 for pre-trial motions.

Council President Louis Valori, also announced there will be a special council meeting on December 27 at 4:30 p.m. The agenda states:

  1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills authorizing the execution of an agreement with Morris Corporate Center VI, LLC for the installation and maintenance of landscaping on a portion of the property known as 100 Cherry Hill Road (block 136, lot 44) in the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills
  2. Resolution of the Township Council of the township of Parsippany-Troy Hills authorizing a mobile intensive care unit affiliation agreement with Prime Healthcare Services
  3. Resolution of the Township Council of the township of Parsippany-Troy Hills authorizing a developer’s agreement with 700 Mountain Way
  4. Any other action reasonably related thereto may also be taken. Formal action may or not be taken.

Mayor-elect Michael Soriano swept the General Election against Mayor James Barberio by almost 800 votes.

Michael Soriano (D) 6851
James Barberio (R) 6059

Council President Louis Valori and Council Vice President Robert Peluso terms end on December 31, 2017 and will be replaced by Democrat Janice McCarthy and Emily Peterson.

Michael Soriano 6851
James Barberio 6059
Lou Valori 5777
Vincent Ferrara 5701
Janice McCarthy 6532
Emily Peterson 6469