During the public session of the Council Meeting of Tuesday, January 14, Parsippany resident I asked the Mayor and Council questions regarding Parsippany’s Resolution R2013-209. Click here to read a copy of the resolution.
The night this resolution was passed (Tuesday, October 8, 2013) I questioned the town council if it had anything to do with Council President Brian Stanton or Mayor Barberio. None of the council members responded.
During a recent OPRA (Open Public Records Act) request, she was able to determine that Brain Stanton received a check dated October 17, 2013 in the amount of $5,662.50 – itemized attorney bill was attached, and Mayor James Barberio requested a check be issued to Clifford J. Weininger in the amount of $5,000.00, dated December 10, 2013 – bill showed only “minimum attorney fee for representation.”
It is my opinion this resolution was specifically created to enable Councilmen Stanton and Mayor Barberio to recoup attorney fee’s they previously incurred in regards to the Sunday, January 13, 2013 meeting and the investigation that followed by Somerset Prosecutors.
She is asking this council to rescind this resolution tonight. Did you really read this carefully or was this one of those things pushed thru again at town attorney’s advice.
Things to consider:
a) This resolution allows “former” elected or appointed officials to be covered – are we not opening up a can of worms here?
b) Mr. Inglesino makes a point of wording also on this resolution. Because Somerset prosecutors said they found it “not viable” and did not come out and exonerate them wording of “authority’s decision to discontinue prosecution” is in place. I ask you do other towns have such a resolution? Did we check to see if other towns have something similar or feel the necessity to have such a resolution?
c) This resolution was adopted on October 8, 2013. Why are we reimbursing Councilmen Stanton and Mayor Barberio for their legal bills? Their legal problems occurred prior to the date resolution was passed? Please explain.
d) Did the town council vote to have Mayor Barberio’s attorney reimbursed? Did council members know Mayor Barberio’s attorney was reimbursed prior to this evening? Should you have voted on that? How are council members not being included in these important issues? A total of over $10,000.00 of the taxpayers money was used. Please explain.
She continued by stating she was unclear on the following:
1) Was Councilmen Stanton acting in his official status the night of January 13, 2013? If he was who in the township authorized it? Mayor Barberio originally denied there was a meeting. Councilmen Stanton confirmed the January meeting took place at the town council agenda meeting of March 12, 2013.
2) If this was an official meeting shouldn’t there be a record of what took place? Were minutes taken? Where are they?
3) Township attorney John Inglesino forgot to bill the township for this “official meeting” which he attended. Did he ever bill us after he realized he forgot?
4) Councilmen Stanton can you answer this question? When you requested resumes from Councilmen Carifi and Mr. Valori were you working in your official status? If so, who authorized it and for what purpose exactly.
I again ask that you consider rescinding this resolution until it is reviewed and completely understood or possibly revised if the council truly feels a need for it.
There are to many unanswered questions which relate to this resolution and until those questions are answered and the public has a clear understanding of what has transpired it is my opinion that it would be in the taxpayers best interest not to leave ourselves open. Is this resolution a necessity or done only because Mayor Barberio and Councilmen Stanton wanted to be reimbursed for their legal woes. Can we possibly recoup the taxpayers money? This all came about because of the Sunday, January 13 meeting that at first never happened. Why was Lou Valori requested to be at that meeting if it was official business. Mr. Valori was not part of the town council at that time. Who requested his presence and why? Where is the transparency?
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