Thursday, September 10, 2015

Englewood Cliffs Borough Council Closed Meeting Minutes

Clerk Duffy: (via e-mail on September 10, 2015)

Based on the on-line version of the Council's September 9, 2015 meeting agenda, I believe that that Council approved the minutes from the following closed meetings: April 18, 2012, May 9, 2012, June 13, 2012, July 11, 2012, October 10, 2012, November 20, 2012, December 3, 2012, December 12, 2012, March 13, 2013, May 8, 2013, June 12, 2013, July 10, 2013, August 14, 2013, October 9, 2013, December 11, 2013, February 11, 2014, April 9, 2014, May 14, 2014, June 18, 2014, July 9, 2014, and August 25, 2014.

While there are still some closed meeting minutes that haven't been approved (e.g. September 10, 2014, October 6, 2014 and November 12, 2014), I understand from our August 31, 2015 telephone conversation that these minutes, together with those closed sessions held during the first half of 2015, will be prepared and approved at the October 14, 2015 Council Meeting.

Given this, I will not file an Open Public Meetings Act lawsuit against the Borough prior to October 14, 2015.

Thank you for your cooperation in this regard.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Englewood Cliffs Mayor violated ethics law, fined $100.

After a three and a half year investigation, New Jersey's Local Finance Board (LFB) concluded that Englewood Cliffs Mayor Joseph C. Parisi, Jr. violated the Local Government Ethics Law (LGEL) and assessed a $100 fine against him.

The matter was originated by a March 7, 2012 complaint filed by John Paff and the New Jersey Libertarian Party.  The complaint alleged that Parisi, who served on the Board of Directors of North Jersey Community Bank and as Chairman of Otterstedt Insurance Agency, failed to recuse himself from the Borough Council's 2010 consideration of a $9.8 million Board of Education budget that voters had rejected.  At the time of the discussions, the Board of Education had active accounts with both North Jersey Community Bank and Otterstedt Insurance Agency. The record reflects that Parisi advocated making "no cuts" the the Board's budget.  The Notice of Violation and complaint are on-line here.

The LFB found that Parisi "had a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence."  The Local Government Ethics Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.9 sets the minimum fine at $100 and the maximum at $500.