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Cranford Committee to Vote on Township Attorney Wednesday

The committee will vote on a new Township Attorney at Wednesday’s reorganization meeting.

During a special meeting of the Township Committee on Monday, the committee discussed the appointment of a Township Attorney to be voted on during Wednesday's reorganization meeting.

The Township had sent out a Request for Qualifications to fill the Township Attorney spot in November. Philip Morin, III, and his firm, Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader, were one of the responses to that request.

Two other candidates put in a request in addition to Morin's firm, which included the Township's current firm of Rogut McCarthy and attorney Bob Donovan along with his firm.

“The township committee has looked at all of the RFQ submissions for the position and will make what we believe is the best decision for the Township based on the all of the information that we have available, including the public comments,” Commissioner Andis Kalnins told Patch.

Morin previously served as Cranford’s Township Attorney and served when the initial Birchwood plans were announced, which brought up some concern by residents.

It was previously questioned if Morin was in a conflict of interest by being a former Cranford Township attorney who continued to represent the town through a private practice on affordable housing issues. In July, a Seton Hall Law professor found Morin not to be in conflict
 
At that time, he was still representing the town in a legal dispute over a proposed development on Birchwood Avenue.

Currently, Dan McCarthy serves as Cranford’s Township Attorney. In 2012, Morin was voted in by the Republican-majority council to replace McCarthy for a one-year term.

This past year, McCarthy replaced Morin and now the committee will vote on who will fill the serve as the Township Attorney at Wednesday’s reorganization meeting at 1 p.m.

Also at the reorganization meeting, recently-elected commissioners, Bob D’Ambola and Mary O’Connor will be sworn in. The two new committee members will fill the seats of Ed O’Malley and Kevin Campbell.

During the 2012 vote on a Township Attorney, O’Malley and Campbell were the only two commissioners to vote against Morin’s appointment.

Morin also served two terms on the Cranford Township Committee from 1997 to 2002, including serving as mayor of Cranford in 2000. He was one of the youngest mayors in Cranford history.

In 2007, he was named New Jersey's "Forty Under 40" Lawyers by the New Jersey Law Journal. Morin works in several different areas including, Environmental, Construction and Public Contracting, Litigation Defense, Real Estate/Land Use and Redevelopment.


Donald December 31, 2013 at 01:31 PM
As someone who knows something about the law, it seems to me that neither McCarthy nor Morin has done much to further Cranford's interests in the ongoing litigation concerning the town's overdevelopment. Indeed, we have had a string of adverse decisions. In the private sector, we would have obtained new counsel.

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