City officials on Tuesday evening awarded $900,000 in legal contracts to 11 law firms, including one owned by powerful Ocean County Republican Party chairman George Gilmore, a key supporter of mayor Jose “Joey” Torres.
Gilmore’s law firm, Toms River-based Gilmore and Monahan, received a $100,000 contract to handle state and federal cases for the city. Other law firms that were awarded city contracts were:
• Fairfield-based Dwyer, Connell, and Lisbona for $100,000 (to handle federal and state cases)
• Springfield-based Ruderman and Glickman for $100,000 (to serve as labor counsel)
• Newark-based Adams Gutierrez and Lattiboudere for $75,000 (to serve as labor counsel)
• Mount Holly-based Saponaro and Sitzler for $75,000 (to serve as tax appeal attorneys)
• Hoboken-based Florio and Kenny for $75,000 (to serve as tax appeal attorneys)
• Wayne-based Buglione, Hutton and DeYoe for $75,000 (to handle workers compensation cases)
• Lyndhurst-based Scarinci and Hollenbeck for $75,000 (to handle workers compensation cases)
• Newark-based Lite DePalma Greenberg for $75,000 (to handle special conflicts)
• Paterson-based Sciro & Marotta for $75,000 (to handle special conflicts)
• West Orange-based Grieco & DeFilippo for $75,000 (to handle special conflicts).
Another firm with connection to Torres is Scarinci and Hollenbeck which received a $75,000 contract. During the mayoral election that returned Torres for a third-term, the Lyndhurst-based law firm completed a report on his controversial severance check.
Partners from some of the firms were present before council to take questions. Thomas Monahan, Gilmore’s partner in the law firm, was asked whether his firm had worked with a large city like Paterson, by Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large.
“We have not, but the law is the same,” responded Monahan.
Monahan said the firm presently represents eight Ocean County municipalities including East Brunswick and South River. He also said the firm represents the South Jersey Transportation Authority and the Atlantic City Expressway.
Morris asked Monahan’s firm in certain instances suggested policy changes to municipalities that would better protect them against litigation.
“We have,” said Monahan. He said in one instance his firm suggested policy changes based on a court case to a municipality.
Gilmore’s firm received its first city contract yesterday evening. Gilmore was instrumental in securing Torres the business administrator position in Jackson Township after he was defeated by former mayor Jeffery Jones.