LANSDALE, Pa. - Throughout Lansdale Council's ongoing solicitor saga, President Jack Hansen, Councilwoman Liz Troy and Councilman Leon Angelichio have made it quite evident—former Lansdale Borough solicitor Sean Kilkenny should be the new solicitor of Lansdale Borough.
In fact, an agenda item at Lansdale Borough Council's meeting Wednesday night includes a motion to terminate the Requests for Qualifications process for a new solicitor and immediately appoint Kilkenny and his firm of Friedman Schuman to the position.
Wednesday night will be the third time such an attempt would be made on the matter. It all began in January, when Hansen, at the reorganization meeting, had a laundry list of replacements for various borough positions, such as labor lawyer and solicitor.
At that meeting, Hansen was roadblocked to his motion by other councilmembers, including Jason Van Dame, Denton Burnell and Mary Fuller. They demanded an RFQ process be initiated to find a new solicitor, and Van Dame requested reasons for replacing Mark Hosterman and his firm of Wisler Pearlstine as solicitor. Councilmembers have debated the reasons for even considering to replace Wisler Pearlstine, a firm recently named a Tier One firm for municipal law by U.S. News & World Report, a report where Kilkenny's firm was noticably absent.
The RFQ process was tabled in February by council and passed in March, only by a tiebreaking vote by Mayor Andy Szekely.
Then, Troy erroneously attempted to suddenly replace Hosterman with Kilkenny via a motion at the April 2 work session, but it was not allowed, according to sitting solicitor Joe Clement.
Now, Angelichio is poised to make the motion Wednesday night. The motion needs a five-person majority to pass.
Hansen has been accused of pay-for-play politics involving Kilkenny and his firm. Hansen scoffed such accusations, stating that he wants Kilkenny because he wants a solicitor he can work with and that can bring good things to Lansdale.
Kilkenny has come under scrutiny because of his contributions to Hansen's PAC and the Lansdale Democrats. Kilkenny has given $2,000 to the county Democratic Committee in 2011 and $1,000 in to the committee in 2008, per campaign finance reports.