PATERSON, NJ – The City Council on Tuesday agreed to pay up to $7,500 in legal fees for the City Clerk Jane Williams-Warren involving the pending lawsuit over the contested May 8 election in the 2nd Ward.
Williams-Warren asked for legal counsel “in order to address any concerns that might relate to the function of the Office of the City Clerk during or after this election,’’ said the council’s resolution.
Councilman Aslon Goow has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman’s victory in the 2nd Ward race on the argument that Akhtaruzzaman did not fulfill the requirement of being a city resident for a year before the election. The case originally was scheduled to go to trial June 28, but has been delayed until July 23.
It was not clear exactly why Williams-Warren would need legal representation in the case. She has not been named as a defendant.
The resolution says Paterson Corporation Counsel Paul Forsman advised that Williams-Warren get special council to avoid any conflicts his office might have in a case that pits an incumbent councilman against a councilman-elect.
Under the resolution, Williams-Warren can pick her own attorney at a maximum rate of $125 per hour.