In the court issued opinion, the judge bluntly made clear his legal objections in the conclusion writing,
"This court cannot countenance the notion
that the Municipal Vacancy Law was intended to encourage gamesmanship."
|Assignment Judge Peter Bariso made both his legal and overall insights crystal clear.|
Gamesmanship? Did the judge actually call out Beth Mason, Michael Russo and the Old Guard council for playing games?
Does it end there? Not quite. The Mason family will have until the third week of March to file another claim on the matter and sue the people of Hoboken in an effort to overturn Judge Bariso's legal decision bringing back Councilman-in-waiting Jim Doyle.
While Doyle may be sworn-in on Wednesday at 7:00, another emergency appeal may be filed with the NJ Appellate Court going into effect at that time. The likelihood of the appeal hitting pay dirt however is exceedingly low as in virtually nil.
The lawyer representing the City of Hoboken, William Northgrave of McManimon, Scotland & Baumann performed outstanding in a solo capacity to overcome the legal roadblocks staged by Beth Mason, Michael Russo, Terry Castellano and Tim Occhipinti. The cost to the City in comparison to the team of attorneys hired by the Mason family will be dwarfed, maybe several times over (or more) by the bill arriving at upper Hudson Street.
Councilwoman Beth Mason's team included former Corporation Counsel Steve Kleinman of Gregg F. Paster & Associates and the very expensive attorney Jerry Goldfeder of Strook & Strook & Lavan. It will be interesting to see if Strook desires having their name further associated with a very long shot appellate appeal.
Beth Mason and her MORTe allies were handed a thunderous legal decision landing upside their heads. The cost to the City is all told likely to be in the tens out thousands wasting both time and critical resources certainly needed elsewhere after the estimated $100 million in damage from Hurricane Sandy.
But the legal gamesmanship the Mason family checkbook plays is not over. Expect more of it.
Talking Ed Note: Mason has announced she is suing Hoboken for the people but it's the people of Hoboken she sues and if there's any qualms about any of it, none is visible. In point of fact, Beth Mason seems to relish the problems she causes and shows no reticence; she has however shown she takes pleasure in inflicting suffering on the taxpayers and the City, collective or individual.
Related: Grafix Avenger weighed in with criticism for the selfish lawsuit by MORTe and the underwriters, the Mason family adding there's whispers a complaint about recovering money spent:
Judge Bariso photo courtesy of NJ.com, by arrangement.