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Exasperated Judge Postpones Cirilo Trial Until Feb. 6

Judge annoyed as West Orange council president says he's hired a new lawyer and seeks expert testimony from his personal doctor and needs additional delay in trial.

The Verona DWI case involving West Orange Council President Victor Cirilo was postponed yet again Wednesday after he changed lawyers and requested more time to consult with his lawyer and seek expert testimony from his personal doctor.

An exasperated Judge John A. Paparazzo appeared annoyed in Verona Municipal Court when Cirilo’s attorney, Roy Breslow of Verona, made the request for an additional postponement, but agreed to delay the trial until Feb. 6.

Paparazzo questioned why Breslow wasn’t ready saying Cirilo had ample time to prepare for the case and saying Breslow should have been ready by now.

Cirilo is seeking expert testimony from his doctor about his field sobriety test, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Paparazzo said there was no way he would postpone the trial again and said he was annoyed the case was not ready to move forward.

Cirilo is charged with driving while intoxicated following a Nov. 9, 2012 police stop after he made a turn from Bloomfield Avenue onto Mount Prospect Avenue (Route 23) just after midnight, Verona Police Chief Douglas Huber said at the time.

On Jan. 2, Verona Municipal Court Administrator Jean DePoe said that postponement was granted at Cirilo’s lawyer’s request.

At the time of his arrest, Cirilo was administered a field sobriety test, Huber said, but he refused to take a blood alcohol test.

Cirilo also faces careless driving and failure to keep right charges. He was originally scheduled to appear in Verona Municipal Court on Wednesday, Nov. 21, but that date was also postponed.

Cirilo apologized for the arrest in a letter to the editor immediately after his November arrest, saying he intends to fight the charges and asking residents to not make a rush to judgment.

West Orange officials refused comment on the arrest at the time, according to a statement released by township public information officer Jessica Glicker.

Cirilo, who won his first council term in 2010, was elected in the township’s non-partisan elections. His current term expires in 2014.

He is employed as the executive director of the housing authority of the city of Passaic and has served West Orange as a board member of the Downtown West Orange Alliance and the John Renna House, as well as serving stints on the West Orange Public Library Board and the West Orange Valley Revitalization Committee.

Cirilo also served as the field director for Sen. Robert Menendez’s suburban Essex County campaign operation and as chief of staff for state Assemb. John McKeon.

M January 17, 2013 at 03:35 AM
I called it...the "medical" excuse when this was first postponed. What a piece of work this guy is! I guess bad publicity is better than none. Yikes!
john anthony prignano January 17, 2013 at 05:03 AM
M Your "medical excuse" comment was the first thing I thought of when I read this article. Oscar Wilde said " The only thing worse that being talked about is not being talked about."
Ken January 17, 2013 at 12:05 PM
You posted it twice, Mary Ann.
M January 17, 2013 at 03:47 PM
He refused the breathalizer...because he smelled like liquor? He has a physician that is too busy to provide testimony... since November? A stupid mistake...drinking to impairment or that he got arrested? Letter of apology ... that he got caught? (and who was the letter to? the council? and what did it say exactly? ... I didnt see any letter) ... First DWI...do you know this to be true? Hmmm could be that "where there is smoke there is fire"...Prolonging the inevitable...and wasting away time... It just doesnt sit right.
Bert Peronilla January 17, 2013 at 05:44 PM
This is the letter to the editor of The Alternative Press: Victor Cirilo Saturday, November 10, 2012 • 1:14pm Besides my family, West Orange and my service to our community are the highest priorities in my life. I accept full responsibility for any blemish to the township and apologize to our citizens. This is the first time I have ever been involved in such a situation and ask that we do not rush to judgment as I intend to defend myself against the allegations.
Bert Peronilla January 17, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Ken, sorry for the duplicate post. I tried to DELETE the duplicate, but the delete did not take.
john anthony prignano January 17, 2013 at 06:19 PM
The Oscar Wilde quote should read " The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about." Why does Cirilo accept full responsibility for any blemish to our Township and apologize to our citizens? That's FULL responsibility.
Alexandra DeRonde January 17, 2013 at 08:37 PM
As much as I respect everyone’s opinion in regard to what is happening to the Council president and how you may or may not feel as residents, there are a few things that have been presented that don't sound accurate to me. For example, often it is said that he already admitted guilt with his “apology letter.” In that regard, I don't understand why his apology was taken like that, first because his accepting full responsibility for any “blemish” to the township and as a result he apologized to the residents. That doesn't mean he admitted he is guilty. As a public and elected person this situation sure brings some “blemish” to our town due to his role as a councilman. The reporter indicated that “Cirilo apologized for the arrest in a letter to the editor immediately after his November arrest, saying he intends to fight the charges and asking residents to not make a rush to judgment”. But yet, we are rushing to make judgments and thinking his position is buying him an easy way out. How about we think that MAYBE his position is not quite helping him? The Judge as well as the prosecutor may be more careful to not been seen as someone helping a “public servant” to get off easily! That is the point, we will not always agree with the the court’s decision and think that justice is being served, but in order for justice to be served, we need the process to take its own steps.
Alexandra DeRonde January 17, 2013 at 08:38 PM
would think that not only the Judge but also Cirilo are aggravated by the delay, since as a result he is still unable to speak on his own behalf about his acts and he is still paying legal fees, but most importantly the aggravation this can bring to him, his family and his professional and public duties. The reasons behind changing lawyers, seeking medical expertise, etc., is part of the process and how his legal representation feels is the right way to proceed with Cirilo’s case. Also, it was the lawyer who requested the time or the extension--I know, as someone who has translated in court before, that only the lawyers are the ones allow to address the court. Most importantly none of this mentioned so far indicates that he is or is not guilty of charges. To me it only indicates that he is seeking for an fair opportunity to defend himself. So I would like to know, would any of us not look and do the same if it was our own case? “Breaking news”- I will disagree on that as well. For me yesterday’s "breaking news" was the President presenting the Gun law, or George Norcross backing Sen. Barbara Buono and bashing Sen. Codey, or a pair of robbers pistol-whipping an Orange man- which WOPatch did report about. For me personally it was Booker’s expression on the Rachel Maddox’s show...”I am a Prisoner of Hope” .
Alexandra DeRonde January 17, 2013 at 08:38 PM
My intention here is not based on the act that Cirilo is a dear friend of mine, but to clarify my points and to request from all of us not to rush ourselves in judgements and pronouncing verdicts since in the end it isn't our position to do so. Respecting people’s privacy, even those that are public people, is important. I, as a friend, will support him with what the judge rules at the end because guilty or innocent the hope is that justice will be served, and knowing Cirilo I know that is what he is looking for as well. Thanks You!
Bert Peronilla January 17, 2013 at 10:50 PM
It is not my place to pass judgment on whether Mr. Cirilo will be found guilty or innocent. I question the wisdom behind the strategy of prolonging the trial. There is no doubt in my mind that the arresting officer had enough grounds to perform a DWI arrest; otherwise he faces the danger of performing a false arrest with the ensuing consequences. Putting myself in Mr. Cirilo’s place, I will make sure that I have a qualified lawyer who can minimize the damage by obtaining a ruling of not guilty due to some technicality associated with the field sobriety test. Having said that, damage has already been done, purely based on being arrested in the first place. The perception in most people’s minds will not change, whether the verdict is guilty or not guilty due to some technicality. Although an overkill, this brings to mind OJ’s infamous case of being found innocent since the glove did not fit. Most people still think that he is guilty. My 2 cents opinion is, (regardless of what the final verdict is,) the multiple postponements, whether truly justified or not, added to the damage in the case. Lastly, Mr. Cirilo is lucky to have a loyal friend in you. I too know Mr. Cirilo at St. Joseph Church, and personally like him.
george January 18, 2013 at 03:15 AM
If anyone wants to see what a real person Cirilo is just find him on St.Patricks parade day. I was at a bar where he was so drunk and out of control. This is guy should be ashamed of himself
Alexandra DeRonde January 18, 2013 at 03:25 AM
Thank you for your kind words "Concerned" , I really appreciate them! - I heard you and may agree with you in some of the statements and probably I will make a change here and there or complete some of the others :-) . Still is an open case/investigation therefore isn't much what can be said . Sadly, the perception in people's mind is a tricky thing. Time will do its part and I believe Cirilo will address that on its time, to the best of his abilities. What I am really hoping for him as I will for any person, is the opportunity to receive a fair opportunity. Concerned, again thank for your kind words, wishing the best to you and yours! Alex DeRonde
john anthony prignano January 18, 2013 at 04:02 AM
george Great comment. More than one person stated that there was a Councilman drunk and out of control at the St. Patrick's Day parade. Now we have a name.
wohopeful January 18, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Perhaps his ytue freinds and family will urge him to seek the help he needs for alcoholism.
Gary Englert January 18, 2013 at 04:50 PM
john anthony prignano: Are you possibly going to accept as gospel an anonymous report from anyone about another's conduct? If you have any sense of decency and fair play you'd rebuke such nonsense for what it is: anonymous character assassination.
wohopeful January 18, 2013 at 05:48 PM
What was Mr. Cirilo's reason for having to find a new legal team? Was it that the first lawyer was not on board with the plausability of his using a medical excuse to explain his behavior ? Or perhaps the first lawyer is not so convinced of his former client's innocence.
Bert Peronilla January 18, 2013 at 06:55 PM
One of the goldern rule in blogging: "when using a pseudonym, be sure that you will not be embarassed or liable for libel to own what you wrote, using your real name."
john anthony prignano January 18, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Once again, Englert doesn't know what he's talking about. I did not base my response to george based solely on george's comment, Far from it. George Orwell 1984; "He who controls the past controls the future. He that controls the present controls the past " Englert should do as the title of a Cole Porter song suggests; "Brush up your Shakespeare" - Hamlet, "Foul deeds will rise, though all the world oer'whelm them to men's eyes."
john anthony prignano January 18, 2013 at 07:34 PM
60 Park Grill, Newark, Devils Advocate LLC
Gary Englert January 18, 2013 at 08:33 PM
john anthony prignano: This totally inaccurate story has its genesis in anonymous gossip and if anyone has come forward to own it...and place a name, face and reputation behind it...please do show us where or when.
john anthony prignano January 18, 2013 at 09:19 PM
The ONLY people whom Englert defines as "anonymous, cowardly internet nitwits, are people who disagree with him. If an anonymous writer agrees with him, his attitude is the exact opposite of the shop - worn cliche, in that he DOES suffer fools easily.
Gary Englert January 18, 2013 at 09:36 PM
john anthony prignano: Actually, Mr. Prignano, I'm not a fan of anonymous posting whether someone agrees with me or not...though it's a given that there's little reason to take issue with anyone, anonymous or otherwise, so long as their opinion is both reasonably stated and respectful. Trashing someone's reputation from behind the cover of a screen name, absent any proof of whatever it is they're alleging, is neither.
john anthony prignano January 19, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Anyone can respond to a statement. Englert responds to statements that weren't stated. I have never read him call someone who agrees with his point of view "an anonymous cowardly nitwit" or an "anonymous internet moron" and the like.Where do I say he's a fan of anonymous posters? Shakespeare, "I think thou doth protest to much." -
Gary Englert January 19, 2013 at 04:19 PM
john anthony prignano: The incessant quotes from The Bard of Avon (perhaps to add psuedo gravitas to a life devoid of accomplishment?) notwithstanding, any comment lending any credence at all to anonymous gossip is to underscore one's intellectual dishonesty. The bottom line remains, Mr. Prignano, is that you talk the talk but, have never walked the walk. If you have done a single thing in this community, or in any other endeavor, for the greater good, please share it with the group.
john anthony prignano January 19, 2013 at 04:22 PM
Should read " I think thou doth protest too much ."
john anthony prignano January 19, 2013 at 07:39 PM
Shakespeare - Macbeth; " Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
Gary Englert January 19, 2013 at 08:07 PM
john anthony prignano: Finally, an honest self-assessment?
Alex Sohn January 19, 2013 at 09:31 PM
The West Orange Chronicle had a brief article in the 20 Dec 2012 edition stating that Victor was represented at his pretrial conference on 12 Dec by Sal M. Anderton who had entered the not-guilty plea at the 21 Nov arraignment. Mr. Anderton is a long-time friend (and former college room mate) of Victor's. Anderton is a lobbyist and a governmental affairs attorney -- Mr. Cirilo clearly needs a DWI specialist if he intends to vigorously fight the charge. That might be the reason for the change in representation. The reason for the multiple delays is anyone's guess.
Gary Englert January 20, 2013 at 05:37 PM
hugh lindsay: Well, yours is certainly some not very enlightened thought...not to mention a complete disregard of the fundamental Constitutional protection afforded all of us; that being one is innocent until proven guilty. The suggestion that Mr. Cirilo is somehow benefiting here from being an elected official is also without any basis, In reality, it is quite the contrary as the man is being tried and convicted in the media. In 2008, there were 24,313 DUI arrests in New Jersey, the vast majority of which were not reported in the media, nor were the accused subject to ridicule, rebuke and derision before a verdict was even rendered. The only thing making this the least bit "newsworthy" is that Mr. Cirilo holds an elective office. So, just how do you think the man is getting a "free pass?" It's not that at all; what it's called is due process and each and every one of us is entitled to it.

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