Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Garfield Replaces Labor Counsel and City Attorney

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Garfield Replaces Labor Counsel and City Attorney

Article excerpt

GARFIELD - The City Council -- which experienced a major change in leadership this week -- has appointed two new attorneys, despite questions from one councilman over their qualifications and ties to the new deputy mayor.

At their annual organization meeting Sunday, the council replaced city attorney Joseph Rotolo with John J. Bruno Jr. of the Rutherford firm Bruno & Ferraro.

The city's labor counsel, Giuseppe Randazzo, was replaced with attorney John J. Lavin. Lavin is a partner with the firm Tesser & Cohen, which has offices in Hackensack, Chester and Manhattan.

Both appointments were approved by a vote of 4-1. Councilman Frank Calandriello - who until Sunday had been mayor for 12 years - voted against the appointments, complaining that he had not received resumes for the two attorneys and that he did not know their credentials.

Calandriello also asked whether Lavin is related to Deputy Mayor Tana Raymond's campaign manager, Deborah Lavin, to which the city's new mayor, Joseph Delaney, responded Sunday: "I don't know."

"No one gave me an answer, including the new mayor ... I'm assuming I asked a loaded question," Calandriello said in an interview on Tuesday.

Not at all, according to Raymond, who was named deputy mayor on Sunday.

When asked about John Lavin, she readily affirmed that he is her campaign manager's son.

"I'm proud of that," said Raymond, who noted that she and Deborah Lavin have been friends for four decades and that she was John Lavin's school nurse.

"He [Lavin] will do what's right for the city. This was no political favor," said Raymond.

With the change of leadership on the council, Raymond said new professionals were necessary.

"This is the beginning of the new administration," said Raymond. "All ties to the status quo will be cut."

Lavin graduated from Quinnipiac University School of Law in Connecticut in 2001. …

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