Hoboken council minority votes against paying $700K in legal fees

HOBOKEN – Is that the city of Hoboken waiting outside the public defender’s office?
The city will not be able to pay attorney’s fees after an emergency appropriation failed to garner six votes in a Tuesday night special council meeting. The emergency appropriation called for the approval of $700,000 in funds for special attorneys, but the measure received only five votes, not the 2/3 vote of the nine member council necessary for an emergency appropriation. Like many other agenda items in Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s five allies voted in favor of the resolution, while her four council foes voted against it.
The resolution would have almost doubled the amount of money the city has spent on special counsel over the current year. However, the city has been involved with complicated bankruptcy litigation over the sale of Hoboken University Medical Center, as well as litigation surrounding rent control in the city, which are the reasons given on the meeting agenda as to why the emergency appropriation is necessary.
The result will be that attorneys for the city will not be paid, and could stop doing their work, according to officials. The appropriation will likely appear on a future agenda. – Ray Smith

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