NEWTON — Sussex County has employed a new attorney, the fourth to provide in the put up in six decades.
The appointment of Phillipsburg-centered Douglas Steinhardt was announced at the Board of Commissioners meeting on June 23 with a begin day of July 1.
Steinhardt, a former Republican prospect for governor and condition GOP Committee chairman is at present the Warren County GOP committee chair. He is a husband or wife in the legislation business of Florio Perrucci Steinhardt Cappelli Tipton & Taylor and lives in Warren County.
He is also the to start with out-of-county attorney to serve in the article in at the very least 30 many years.
Dennis McConnell served in the submit for a lot more than 25 decades, retiring on July 1, 2015. His alternative was John Williams who served a three-12 months time period followed by outgoing Kevin Kelly, who also served a three-12 months term. Kelly’s personal exercise is positioned just a couple of doors away from the county’s administrative heart on Spring Avenue.
Kelly had designed a proposal to continue on in the position.
Steinhardt was a single of 4 lawyers who satisfied with the Board of Commissioners for “own interviews” during a June 18 executive assembly.
When attained for a comment on the new legal professional, Kelly mentioned he had not been contacted by any county formal about getting replaced. He was on vacation to go to his son’s graduation from the U.S. Army’s Ranger college at Fort Benning, Ga. He had planned to return to perform on June 24, the day after the board voted to use Steinhardt.
Commissioner Director Dawn Fantasia mentioned Kelly’s absence all through the previous assembly, expressing he was on trip. She mentioned the board experienced arranged for substitute counsel to be at the meeting.
“We take pleasure in his (Kelly) challenging work on behalf of the county,” Fantasia said at the assembly, adding, the outgoing lawyer paid certain awareness to his operate on behalf of senior citizens. A person accountability of the county is to supply lawful services to seniors in several scenarios and Kelly has been supplying those people solutions for numerous decades prior to being named county counsel.
Commissioner Herb Yardley, who was on the board when Kelly was hired, also thanked him. Commissioner Sylvia Petillo, the other commissioner who voted to retain the services of Kelly in 2018, was on vacation for the June 23 meeting.
Fantasia is trying to get re-election this yr, operating with Commissioner Chris Carney, who was appointed to the board in January to fill the unexpired phrase of Josh Hertzberg, who resigned from the county board when he was elected to the Sparta Township Council.
Steinhardt and point out GOP Chairman Michael Lavery hosted an April fundraiser for Fantasia and Carney at a restaurant in Warren County.
Fantasia mentioned the present-day board examined the structure of the county counsel’s business which “was set in spot by the prior board” and pointed out that Kelly’s business, Kelly and Ward, is composed of himself and lover Megan Ward.
She mentioned there ended up “numerous, lots of, lots of situations” when the county’s wants required added attorneys to be employed. She stated the availability of quite a few attorneys in Steinhardt’s agency was a variable in it being employed. Steinhardt was hired, in accordance to the resolution, on a aspect-time foundation.
The director said Steinhardt’s organization had formerly been hired to deal with legal troubles by the commissioners and Sussex County Sheriff Michael Strada.
One circumstance was the 2019 attempt by the then-called Board of Picked out Freeholders to place a referendum right before the voters that requested the sheriff to cooperate with federal immigration officers.
When the referendum was disqualified for not becoming lawfully enough, Steinhardt was employed to generate a unique resolution that met the authorized prerequisites. The referendum was overwhelmingly permitted by voters, but had no sensible influence considering the fact that the county jail sends all its prisoners to the Morris County Correctional Facility.
Steinhardt is to be paid a regular retainer of $20,000 ($240,000 full) by June, 2022 when the fee of spend will be re-examined. The fork out resolution also calls for a $200 per hour fee for the firm’s other attorneys and $95 per hour for paralegals.
The agreement also calls for particular expenses to be reimbursable.
In accordance to the 2021 county price range, the line for salaries and wages for this calendar year is $118,000, as opposed to $119,000 for 2020. Other expenditures, including other attorney expenses, is budgeted at $1,058,350, which is $100,000 considerably less than the 2020 expended line.
Nevertheless, not integrated in that section of the spending budget are the numerous other lawyers employed because of their specialties, these as labor law and negotiations, and individuals compensated from the budgets of other workplaces, which include the sheriff, county clerk and county surrogate.