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Board's New Legal Counsel Will Be Paid $325,000 Next Year

Machado Law Group will be paid on a prorated basis until June 30.

The Board of Education has hired a new legal counsel.

The Machado Law Group, LLC will now represent and advise the regarding all legal matters.

The firm will be paid $150 an hour for the use of counsel and associates and $75 an hour for paralegals until June 30. The total amount paid will be prorated from the maximum permitted amount of $325,000. Superintendent Ray Gonzalez could not provide an estimate on how much the firm would be paid until June 30.

Gonzalez said that the “initial transition costs form the old firm to the new firm” are not considered when calculating the cap. He said the transition costs are unknown at this time.

The firm will be paid a maximum of $325,000 for legal services for the 2012-2013 school year. The appointment will last until the end of that school year.

Schwartz, Simon, Edelstein, and Celso LLC previously represented the board. Nathanya Simon  when nine  football players filed a lawsuit against the board for their right to play in the state championship game in early December.

“We are in the process of working with both firms to determine what matters are going to be handed off to the new firm and what cases are in progress and will remain with our former counsel,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said the decision to hire a new legal counsel was the board’s, not his, since the person represents the board. Gonzalez did not comment on why the previous firm’s contract was not renewed.

“The administration will work with the firm to address any legal matters involving the district,” Gonzalez said.

The board counsel is one of many professional services that are periodically reviewed for annual reappointments. Others include the district’s architect, auditor, and insurance broker.

Isabelle Machado will be the primary representative from the firm at board meetings.

In addition to representing and advising the board, Machado will represent the district in any litigious matters involving special education.

Board President Donald Pavlak Jr. could not be reached for comment.

Another View April 04, 2012 at 09:20 PM
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Justice April 04, 2012 at 09:26 PM
We need the name of their independent auditors and then hold them accountable, even suing them. That would be funny, let the new law firm defend the lawsuit from the taxpayers of wayne and then the e and o carrier for the accountants since they obviously may have missed some steps...ooops, Jimenez proclaims to be a CPA...he may be sued also, especially since he comes from the boe. he should put his e and o carrier on notice....
Justice April 04, 2012 at 09:28 PM
@Rob, did you mention that it was Jimenez who wanted to take a woman out to the parking lot? If I did not misunderstand you, them he should be sued for conduct unbecoming an officer (the position he holds on the BOE or Council)
Al Scala April 04, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Pad.....Rob Burke coined it quite accurately. The Wayne BOE is an incubator for the Town Council. Look at past history starting with Vergano and Schweigart, Mary O'Rourke, Jimenez and Mazzei. I'm sure there are others that I'm not aware of. I'm sure if you look farther back you'll probably find several others who started out on the BOE and joind the Town Council later on. The common thread here is that they are all part of the Wayne Regular Republican party. They control everything here in this town. It certainly is a one horse town. Even though I am a Republican, I don't think this one party rule and the amount of control they have on both the Town Council and BOE, is very healthy for our town. They simply have too much control. Hopefully, with the emergence of the Democratic party here in town, as they have an outstanding party leader in Ray Egatz, there might be some change down the road.
Another View April 04, 2012 at 09:31 PM
@Wayne's World. I don't know where you got your information but I have to give a different version. Before Schwartz Simon we had one of the most respected law firms for educational law in the State of NJ. Fogerty and O'Hara have worked with Ridgewood,Montville and Other top schools in the area. It is my understanding that The BOE had to hire another law firm to handle the educational side of law because of Schwartz Simon lack of Educational Law Experience. S/S had been brought in to Wayne after representing a BOE member who faced ethics charges. Wayne's law fees promtly doubled and we have spent guesstimate of over a extra million dollars over the past 7 years that they have been representing us. Anybody care to discuss?.

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