Michael Parlavecchio, an attorney with Bevan, Mosca and Giuditta, of Basking Ridge, who had been appointed Bloomfield township attorney on Feb. 1, has resigned, it was confirmed by Mayor Michael Venezia.
“It’s procedural,” Venezia said without elaborating.
The Township Council replaced Brian Aloia, the township attorney since Jan. 1, 2007, in a 3-2 vote, with two abstentions. Voting for the change was Venezia and Councilmen Nicholas Joanow and Carlos Pomares; voting against it were Councilmen Carlos Bernard and Joseph Lopez. Councilwoman Nina Davis and Councilman Elias Chalet abstained.
Aloia had warned the township he would be taking legal action if he were not reinstated. He has filed papers in Newark Superior Court alleging Parlavecchio’s appointment had not been procedurally legal.
Aloia alleges the township violated the Open Public Meetings Act by not forewarning him of any change in his employment status to permit him a public hearing; that Parlavecchio’s appointment was not publicly discussed; that the township did not advertise for a non-employee position; and that Parlavecchio’s appointment was in violation of “pay for play” laws because he did not provide documentation that he made a $500 contribution to Venezia’s mayoral campaign.
Lopez, in a telephone interview Tuesday, March 1, said he voted against appointing Parlavecchio because of the “pay of play” violation and because there was no fair and open process in considering applicants.
“The last time we considered other attorneys, we interviewed others,” he said. “Not this year.”
Lopez also said there was no evaluation of Aloia’s performance that might warrant a change.
“No one was complaining,” he said. “It appeared they were doing this, putting in Parlavecchio, for political reasons.”
Aloia recently told The Independent Press that he if he were reinstated as township attorney, with back pay, he would drop his lawsuit once a new township attorney was legally appointed.
In a telephone interview following Parlavecchio resignation, Aloia said he did not know why Parlavecchio resigned but it was his belief that his appointment was in violation of pay for play.
“His resignation has no affect on my litigation until the council has a valid appointment following pay for play and other laws,” Aloia said.
Parlavecchio is counsel to the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. He was not immediately available to comment for this story.