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Occhipinti unleashes the dogs against law firms doing city business

Occhipinti for Council announces:


Occhipinti: Lenz votes for no-bid contracts to politically connected law firms
Michael Lenz’s campaign of political contradictions continued with his vote to award what amounts to open-ended, no bid contracts to three of the most politically connected law firms in New Jersey. Independent 4th ward city council candidate Tim Occhipinti says the vote shows that Lenz is firmly entrenched in the political establishment he says he has fought against.
The council majority approved one-year contracts to Chasan, Leyner & Lamparellowhich includes a number of high profile political lawyers like North Bergen’s Herb Klitzner; Florio & Kenny, which includes former State Senator Bernard Kenny; and Weiner Lesniak, including powerful political State Senator Ray Lesniak. (That firm also employs current corporation counsel Mark Tabakin, part time for over $100,000.)
“If Michael Lenz says he fights against the political bosses, how does he cast a vote to give no-bid contracts to some of the most politically-connected law firms in the state,” said Occhipinti. “These firms are made up of power brokers and political deal makers. Voting to give them contracts is not reform, it’s more business as usual.”
Earlier this year, the council also approved a contract with McManimon & Scotland one of the most politically influential law firms in New Jersey. Partner Bill Northgrave was chief of staff to disgraced former County Executive Robert Janiszewski and represented Mayor Dawn Zimmer in a voter fraud case.
Lesniak was recently the subject of press criticism for his move to abolish the corruption-fighting state waterfront commission. Star Ledger columnist Tom Moran said Lesniak is “close to developers and an enemy to most environmentalists and affordable housing advocates.”
The city has nearly run through its entire budget for legal services in just a few months, yet no dollar limits have been placed on the new contracts. The money for more lawyers would come from the city’s nearly $20 million surplus. “I guess this is the kind of ‘rainy day’ Michael Lenz has been waiting for,” said Occhipinti.  
Talking Ed Note: This hyperbole of alarm from Tim Occhipinti’s handlers sounds more like a note of dread from his supporter Mike Russo worried the prosecutor’s office is the next lawyer coming to get them.  

The law game in New Jersey is pretty political through and through.  The best any municipality can hope for is to have good to great representation at a fair price.  The connections in law firms to government is pretty immense throughout the State of New Jersey.  In this economy, even they are feeling the pinch and turning on each other.  That’s what this political statement really amounts to.

The best Hoboken can expect is that no local firms, near or not so near get their hooks in.  Then the dirt starts building really fast.  The Old Guard in Hoboken appears to have an antipathy for Senator Lesniak’s law office.  That has more to do with the old guard’s connections to Hudson County law firms and its power brokers and next to nothing with concern for Hoboken.  This wasn’t the case when their friends were feeding at the trough which was early and often.  

Does anyone think Tim Occhipinti is going to come up with ideas to reduce and/or eliminate the need for legal services for Hoboken?  There’s almost one real issue here and that is how to control the huge costs in legal fees to the city.  It’s amounted to $3 million annually and to make an issue of the cost only via a political lens is cheap and insulting.  Then again most of the Tim Occhipinti’s handlers are cheap, county political hacks so what would you expect?  

Suggesting that the firms brought in to address the city’s numerous legal issues and say “it amounts to being open ended,” fails to take the issue seriously.  Tim Occhipinti can’t be taken seriously as he’s been bought and sold before this election even began.  This release is just one more perfect example of how lacking Tim “independent” Occhipinti truly is.  He’s foolishly signed off on another even more politically transparent piece of garbage than the last.  He probably doesn’t even have the wherewithal to recognize it.

If his handlers don’t like MSV’s quick take on this, they can have another campaign worker write a letter complaining to the Hudson Reporter.  No doubt it will get printed even if the mayor can’t do similarly.


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