Mayor and Council Reorganization Fuels Division

11th hour motion for Marc Leibman to be appointed Borough Attorney passes with the crossing of party lines.

In what appeared to be an 11th hour move, newly re-elected Democratic Councilman Austin Ashley pulled an upset when he made a motion to nominate Marc Leibman, the attorney representing him before the Zoning Board in the United Water property development, for Borough Attorney. This motion unseated the yet-to-be-seated choice of Lisa Aljian, wife of River Edge Mayor Sandy Moscaritolo, whose name already appeared on the agenda as Borough Attorney appointee.   

Perhaps more surprising than the motion itself, was who supported Ashley in this move -- Republican councilmen Diego Robalino and Dominic Colucci. Ashley's own party affiliates -- Randi Duffie, Hedy Grant and Michael Putrino -- voted against his motion, resulting in Mayor Ann Subrizi having to break the tie.

Before casting the tie-breaking vote, Subrizi voir dired each prospective attorney. Aljian said that although she had experience as the borough's Rent Leveling attorney, she had no experience as a Borough Attorney.

Leibman, a partner in the Fort Lee firm Kaufman, Bern, Deutsch and Leibman, said that although he has not personally served as Borough Attorney, members of his firm have served various municipalities in that capacity and he has sat in for them when they were unavailable. Leibman has also served as Board Attorney to Zoning and Planning boards in Hoboken, Paramus, Fair Lawn, Dumont, River Vale and Woodcliff Lake, and was the municipal prosecutor for the Borough of Leonia.

Leibman said that if appointed to the position of Borough Attorney, he would withdraw from representing Ashley in the matter of the United Water property.

After hearing from both attorneys, Subrizi cast her tie breaking vote with Leibman. Leibman was also appointed to the position of Tax Appeal attorney, while Aljian was appointed to the position of Rent Leveling attorney.

The evening began with the swearing in of Austin Ashley by Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, while Michael Putrino was sworn in by County Clerk John Hogan.


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Ulises January 09, 2013 at 01:45 AM
I hope I'm wrong but it seems Councilman Ashley is on his way to dropping his fight against the development and it now seems, to me, more like a 'quid pro quo' between the councilman and the newly appointed M&C attorney. Again, I hope I'm wrong.
TommyIce January 09, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Ulises I sure hope you're wrong, but never forget. It was a Democratic administration (who, if memory serves me, some council members were a part of) that changed the master plan to create this debacle in the first place. Someone who wants something bad enough will be very, very patient.
NewMilfDadMakinEndsMeet January 09, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Personally think it was all smoke and mirrors by the young Councilman and his attorney, creating stall tactics, and a waste of taxpayer time and money. And the Dems voting in a new ZB member to replace someone who sat through a year long application. More wasteful spending. Anyone know a good realtor? Although that question is quite the oxymoron.
RavinMaven January 09, 2013 at 04:48 PM
Mr. Ashley sold NM down the river. thought we elected him to be our voice on the council. but...no! he got himself a laywer at the ZB so he couldn't speak at the council. a nice but looking back probably not a heartfelt move that got him the the SOD votes. he got elected. he got what he wanted and we got nuthin. and it seems he pulled a fast one on the dems - he got the R's to go along with appointing his personal laywer the boro lawyer. gives politics a bad name.
Frank Appice January 13, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Ashley cares about what's good for him And how he can get votes


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