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Backdoor Politics Backfires Against Zoning Board Chairman Robert Iracane

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Adjustment Chairman “exceeded his statutory authority” by sending Board Attorney Peter King, Esq. an email and then left a voice message stating “I tried to reach you by phone yesterday and left a message. As I explained, the council has decided to change attorneys for the coming year. We will be appointing William Johnson. I hope you will be able to complete any open items you might have. Please fee (sic) free to call me. Best regards, Bob Iracane.”  (Click here to read the email and Click here to listen to the voice recording).

Councilman Paul Carifi, Jr., said “The council does not get involved in who the BOA appoints as its attorney, that is up to BOA members. I don’t know who authorized the hiring of a new attorney; all I can say is it definitely wasn’t me.” Councilman Justin Musella said “No I do not know who on the council decided to change attorneys. I was not aware of any vote authorizing this change.”

“I was not aware of any plot to remove Peter King. Decisions of the BOA should remain impartial and independent of the Township Council,” said Councilman Justin Musella. Newly elected Councilman Frank Neglia said “It is my understanding that the BOA is an autonomous Board. The Council has little to do with it and they (BOA) make all their own decisions. I know nothing about the decision they make or the reasons why. ”

Requests for comments from other Council members went unanswered, as well as questions to Mr. Iracane.

Scott Joskowitz, (right) was sworn in by Board Attorney Peter king, Esq.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Ordinance,  Chapter 225, Section IV, Subsection 225-19, Section A states “There is hereby established in the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills a Zoning Board of Adjustment consisting of seven regular members, who shall serve for terms of four years from January 1 of the year of their appointment, and two alternate members, who shall be residents of the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills appointed by the Township Council. Alternate members shall be designated at the time of appointment by the authority appointing them as “Alternate No. 1” and “Alternate No. 2.”

The members as of January 1, 2022, are Robert Iracane, Nancy Snyder, Bernard Berkowitz, Scott Joskowitz, Dave Kaplan, Sridath Reddy, Davey Willans, Casey Parikh (Alternate 1), and Chris Mazzarella (Alternate 2).

At the January 12 meeting, Robert Iracane was selected to be Chairman, and David Kaplan was selected to be Vice-Chairman, by the majority of the voting members. Since his previous term as Chairman expired on December 31, technically he was just a member of the Board of Adjustment at the time of his email and voice mail messages.

Subchapter 225:20-A states “The Board of Adjustment shall employ or contract an Attorney for the services of a Board of Adjustment,” thus not giving Robert Iracane, or the Township Council, the power of replacing Board Attorney Peter King, *until such time a vote is conducted by all of the members of the Board of Adjustment. That did not happen until Wednesday, January 12.

Peter King was then nominated and selected by David Kaplan, Scott Joskowitz, Sridath Reddy, and Nancy Snyder, thus the majority voted in favor of retaining Peter King, Esq. for another year. Prior to the current nomination, King was the Board Attorney for the past eight years.

Subsection B states “A member may, after public hearing if he requests it, be removed by the governing body for cause. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled for the unexpired term only.”

Mr. Iracane was so sure that Mr. Johnson was going to be appointed, he had the Board Secretary change the agenda’s to eliminate Mr. King and replace it with Mr. Johnson. (Click here to view the Reorganization Agenda, and Click here to view the regular Agenda).

To view the video of the meeting click here.

Clearly, Mr. Iracane “exceeded his statutory authority” and should be removed by the governing body. 

Updated January 21, 2022, 11:43 p.m.

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Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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