Passaic attorney nixes bid in scandal’s wake

19 09 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007


PASSAIC — Gary Schaer’s attempt to hire a special counsel to represent the City Council in the wake of the mayor’s arrest in a statewide sting was thwarted by a city attorney’s legal opinion.

On Tuesday, Councilman Gerry Fernandez said the city attorney looked at case law and advised against appointing a special counsel. Sheri Siegelbaum, the city attorney, refused Tuesday to comment for this story.

Fernandez said the council did not take a vote at a special meeting Monday called by Schaer, the council president, which ended within five minutes.

“The city council tried to hire special counsel and they weren’t allowed to,” Fernandez said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Schaer wanted to hire an “independent attorney” to advise the City Council as federal agents look into dealings that Mayor Samuel Rivera, Councilman Marcellus Jackson and former Councilman Jonathan Soto had with contractors.

Rivera, Jackson and Soto were arrested Sept. 6 on charges of bribery and extortion. Soto was a councilman from July 2003 to July 2007.Schaer and four other council members present at Monday’s meeting did not return telephone calls seeking comment Tuesday. Jackson was absent from the meeting.

Last week, Schaer announced at a regular council meeting that the city should hire the independent lawyer.

Some critics said that hiring another attorney would be a waste of money and that Schaer was taking political advantage of Rivera’s arrest. Schaer also is a state assemblyman who faces re-election in November.

Rivera, Jackson and Soto allegedly took thousands of dollars in bribes from FBI undercover agents posing as insurance brokers. The bribes were in exchange for getting the city to enter into a contract with the insurance brokers. Rivera is alleged to have said to undercover agents “I can get four (council) votes easy, easy, easy.”

The council approved a resolution proposed by Soto in December that allowed insurance brokers to offer medical spending accounts to city employees without going through the “fair and open” bidding process required by city ordinance for agreements costing more than $17,500.




One response

23 09 2007


The “Safe Haven” resolution passed by the Passaic City Council is an outrage and an affront to the law abiding, tax paying American citizens of Passaic.



Many Passaic taxpayers are being crushed by oppressive New Jersey taxes, and illegal alien gang crime is spreading around the country. The US Supreme Court has declared school voucher programs to be constitutional. American born children who attend private schools receive almost nothing from NJ, while NJ spends about $20,000 per year to educate each illegal alien child!

Lets demand that our elected city councilmen post answers on the PassaicJews forum to the following questions:

1. Which city and/or county services and programs are now open for use by all persons, including illegal aliens?

2. What is the total cost to the City of Passaic and Passaic County for all these city services and programs?

3. Approximately how many illegal alien immigrants are residing in Passaic?

4. Are Passaic police inquiring about the immigration status of arrested persons, and are they then reporting illegal alien criminals to the Federal immigration enforcement authorities?

5. Approximately how many illegal alien gang members are residing in Passaic?

6. Which illegal alien gangs are known to be operating in Passaic, and what is being done to arrest and/or deport them?

Please email these Passaic City Councilmen and demand answers to the above questions:

If Jews intend to survive in an increasingly hostile world, then lets start following the wisdom of our own Jewish sages –
“THE LAW OF THE STATE IS LAW” – Baba Kama 113a, Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law), Choshen Mishpat Chpt. 369.


Web Links:

Illegal Alien Crime Waves

“In Passaic, we have MS-13 (Al-Quada connected illegal alien terror gang)”

NJ’s Costly Immigrant Burden

Costs of Illegal Immigration to New Jerseyites

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