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Council Minority Sues City to Remove New Councilman; Mayor Zimmer Says Suit Will Lead to 'Gridlock'

The four minority council members have sued the city for the removal of new councilman Jim Doyle.

The city council minority wants to remove Jim Doyle, who was appointed to serve as councilman-at-large recently, from the dais.

To do so, claiming his appointment was illegal, the four council members—First Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano, Second Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason, Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo and Fourth Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti—are suing the city. (the complaint is attached).

Doyle was appointed on October 3 in a 4-2-1 vote. Mason was absent that meeting and Russo abstained. Doyle replaced former Councilwoman Carol Marsh, who resigned in September. Her term was supposed to expire on June 30, 2013.

City Clerk Jimmy Farina as well as Corporation Counsel Melissa Longo said that a simple majority of the council members present was enough to appoint Doyle.

The law suit on the other hand alleges that's not enough.

With the law suit, the minority members not only want to unseat Doyle, they want to keep the seat vacant. In case of a vacancy, there'd be four minority and four majority council members on the dais. In case of a tie, a resolution or an ordinance automatically fails.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer also cast a vote during that meeting. In case of a tie, the mayor gets to cast a deciding vote. While her vote seemed to have been unnecessary—since there was no tie—the council minority is calling it an "illegal" vote.

Zimmer responded to the law suit on Thursday, saying it was "stunning" that the council minority members are suing the city.

"They are trying to create gridlock for the city of Hoboken for the next eight months," she said.

It's unclear when the first hearing will be held exactly, but it could be early next week, Zimmer said.

"We believe we have a strong case," Zimmer said. 

Hi October 25, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Using and abusing the legal system. Sadly more of the same nasty vindictivness of uber litigious Elizabeth Mason continues as she attempts to use the courts to hurt Hoboken to help hersel Mrs. Mason has also said she will be in court to be able to contribute whatever she wants in the BOE elections despite anti-wheeling ordinaces put in place after she husband gave tens of thousands of dollars to put Tim Occhipinti on the City Council.
recallbethmason October 26, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Well unfortunately for ms mason but this probably is the last straw that destroyed her political career. To complain all this time about why the city has so many lawsuits and then to add to that tally herself is ridiculous. In essence, she just cost the city of hoboken more money, nice going beth. I really appreciate you increasing my taxes.
HobokenTownie October 26, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Sooooooooo stupid. I hope no taxpayer dollars are being used to pay for this "law suit" (it's one word)
Richard McShane III October 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM
"gridlock for the city of Hoboken for the next eight months." WHAT GREAT NEWS!
Ojo Rojo October 26, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Well the city will have to defend itself from this suit so the city will spend tax dollars on that. Mason has also demanded that the city pay for her legal expenses in this suit so she wants even more tax dollars. If you have a problem w/ Mason forcing the city to spend tax dollars on this suit, my suggestion is you pick up a phone and give her an earful. Then call Russo, Occhipinti & Castellano b/c they are also suing the city and forcing the city to waste money. And do ask Beth why she decided to skip that CC meeting and if she did it all so she could waste tax dollars on lawyers b/c she planned on filing this suit.

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