The city’s school board awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of legal contracts to 18 firms on Wednesday night.
Some of the firms receiving contracts have deep political ties.
For example, the firm of Hunt, Hamlin and Ridley lists Kenyatta Stewart, a local leader, who openly backed three sitting board members – Manny Martinez, Nakima Redmon, and Oshin Castillo — last year, as a partner.
Stewart’s firm is getting the largest contract.
Inglesino, Webster, Wyciskala & Taylor is tied to mayor Andre Sayegh’s business administrator Vaughn McKoy.
Elnardo Webster, a partner at the Inglesino, Webster, Wyciskala & Taylor, has held fundraisers for assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, who wields enormous influence over some board members.
Wimberly is also close to Stewart.
Abdelhadi & Associates is the law firm of municipal court judge Abdelmageid “John” Abdelhadi.
Some school board members objected to awarding so many legal contracts in January, but none registered any verbal objections on Wednesday.
The firms will handle civil cases, insurance litigation, workers compensation, real estate, and contracts.
School board members approved the pool of lawyers in a 5-1 vote. Emanuel Capers, Martinez, Kenneth Simmons, Redmon, and Castillo voted in favor. Joel Ramirez voted against. Jonathan Hodges, Eddy Olivares, and Robinson Rondon abstained.
Firms receiving $785,000 worth of legal work are:
- Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Cappelli $75,000
- Buglione, Heissenbuttel & De Yoe Unspecified amount
- Apruzzese, McDermott, Mastro & Murphy $80,000
- Inglesino, Webster, Wyciskala & Taylor $75,000
- Hunt, Hamlin, Webster & Ridley $210,000
- Robert E. Murray, LLC $265,000 (previous year’s amount)
- Scarinci Hollenbeck $100,000
- Abdelhadi & Associates $25,000
- Adams, Gutierrez & Lattiboudere Unspecified amount
- Brundo, Testan, Novell & Jimenez Unspecified amount
- Gregg F. Paster & Associates Unspecified amount
- Purcell, Mulcahy & Flanagan Unspecified amount
- Leitner, Tort, Defazio & Brause Unspecified amount
- Weiner Law Group LLP Unspecified amount
- Law Office of Carmine R. Alampi Unspecified amount
- Cleary, Giacobbe, Alfieri & Jacobs Unspecified amount
- Pennington Law Group Unspecified amount
- Capehart Scatchard Unspecified amount.
The contracts run from Jul 1, 2019 through Jun. 30, 2020.