Mayor-elect Andre Sayegh named Khalifah Shabazz as the city’s new corporation counsel on Wednesday afternoon.
Shabazz is replacing outgoing law director Domenick Stampone. A former deputy counsel to the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Shabazz will oversee two dozen lawyers at the Paterson legal department.
“She brings a tremendous amount of legal acumen and experience to the position. I’m looking forward to working with her. I have every confidence that Khalifah will serve our city well in protecting our community’s interests,” said Sayegh in a statement.
Shabazz previously worked as corporation counsel in East orange. She worked in the Trial Bureau of the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office. She has her own law practice in Newark that handles personal injury and municipal litigation.
Shabazz will earn $129,000 in the role.
“I am honored to be a part of Mayor Sayegh’s upcoming administration, and look forward to doing all I can to help Paterson realize the great potential that is within its resources and its people,” said Shabazz. “I can’t help but be reminded of a quote that says, ‘Life may take you unexpected places, but love always brings you back home.’ It really is my love for Paterson and the Mayor-Elect’s vision that makes this opportunity to exciting.”
Shabazz resides in Paterson. She grew up in the city. She attended School 26, where she became the first girl to play on the boys’ team at school and city league. She went on to earn a bachelor’s in arts from Concordia College.
She holds a juris doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law.
Shabazz is the daughter of former municipal treasurer Betty Shabazz.
Sayegh touted Shabazz as a “barrier-breaking” appointment. She is the first African-American corporation counsel in Paterson’s history.
Shabazz has to be confirmed by the City Council.
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