The city awarded a $15,000 contract to a North Haledon law firm to represent the municipality in former councilman Julio Tavarez’s defamation lawsuit against council members and mayor in connection with last year’s no confidence vote.
North Haledon-based DeMarco and DeMarco received the $15,000 contract to represent the city in the case. The city’s law department and contracted outside law firms have been conflicted out of the case requiring the hiring of the new contract.
The firm is representing the city at $150 per hour, according to city records. Tavarez filed the lawsuit against some of his former colleagues and mayor Jose “Joey” Torres in February of this year alleging the no confidence vote taken against him the prior year did much to harm his reputation in Paterson and particularly among African-Americans.
Some of the council members named in the lawsuit described the lawsuit as “ridiculous” and said it is without merit. The city also approved a $5,000 contract to the same law firm to defend the city against former mayor Jeffery Jones’s chief of staff Charles Pettiford’s lawsuit for his termination following the 2011 flood overtime scandal.
Council members awarded both legal contract last Tuesday.