ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS – The district’s new affordable housing attorney is the latest in a series of departures over the past week. A total of five people have resigned or retired from local government offices since April 8th.
Paperwork was filed with the Bergen Supreme Court to remove Michael Jedziniak as a registered attorney in a lawsuit against four attorneys who had previously served the district.
Jedziniak, of Toms River-based law firm Carluccio, Leone, Dimon, Doyle & Sacks, claims he was appointed “exclusively” as an affordable housing consultant, but was ordered by Mayor Mario Kranjac to file the lawsuit against the four lawyers. a task “outside the scope” of the appointment and only “closely related to affordable housing”.
After this filing, the “lawyer-client relationship” between Jedziniak and the district deteriorated, “resulting in irreconcilable disagreements and incompatibilities,” he writes in the filing.
He also claims that the district “has and continues to refuse legal advice and strategy … in relation to the prosecution of this matter.”
Jedziniak claims he asked for consent to withdraw from the lawsuitagainst the four lawyers and resign on Tuesday. The mayor and council met on Wednesday and had the opportunity to discuss the request in a closed session. He said he reached for confirmation of approval on Thursday.
“Mayor Kranjac did not give the courtesy of a direct answer, but requested various documents that at least suggest that the plaintiff [the borough] disagrees, ”writes Jedziniak.
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Kranjac only said Friday that “the Carluccio law firm had a previously unknown conflict of interest and a new law firm will handle the matter”.
Jedziniak was hired as the district’s affordable lawyer earlier this year. At the time, then-Councilor Deborah Tsabari and Councilor David DiGregorio questioned the legality of Kranjac rejecting the applicants and appointing his own election instead. District Attorney Eric Bernstein assured Tsabari and DiGregorio that this was legal according to the “not fair and open” rules. Such contracts do not include bidding, but vendors are required to fill out disclosure forms.
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At the council meeting on Wednesday, two retirement payouts were approved and action was taken to deal with the part-time CFO’s sudden resignation earlier in the day.
DiGregorio said during the meeting that staff are “running up the hills, people retiring, people leaving,” an assessment that Kranjac denied.
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These departures came less than a week after Democratic councilor Deborah Tsabari resigned. She attributed her departure to personal attacks and harassment by the mayor. You and DiGregorio were the only Council Democrats.
Katie Sobko is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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