Joseph H. Tringali along with Sherri Davis-Fowler, Christine Tiritilli, and Eryn Fernandez-Ledon successfully handled a matter involving the vacancy of an unexpired term on the Jersey City November board of education ballot. Outgoing board of education member,Matt Schapiro, submitted a letter of resignation to the Jersey City BOE Business Administrator on May 31, 2019 with a resignation effective date of Monday, July 15, 2019
In his resignation letter, Mr. Schapiro was explicit about his intentions of resigning his position on July 15, 2019 to ensure that his seat would appear on the November 2019 ballot. Unfortunatley, the BOE Business Administrator never directly informed the Board about the resignation letter or Mr. Schapiro's vacancy—allegedly under the advice of counsel for the Board. As a result, there was a question as to whether Mr. Schapiro’s resignation was acknowledged in time to include his seat on the 2019 ballot.
Mr. Tringali filed an Order to Show Cause and, during a hearing, argued that the applicable law doesn’t require the Board to acknowledge a member’s resignation for their seat’s vacancy to be in effect.
“Everything in 18:A12-15 is contrary to that assertion.” Mr. Tringali argued. “There’s no time limit on when [the Board] can say something about the vacancy? What if they held it for six months because they want to keep their majority on the board?”
After considering all arguments and submissions, Judge Bariso agreed with Mr. Tringali and decided to include Mr. Schapiro’s seat on the ballot in November. To promote fairness, Judge Bariso also ordered the petition submission period to extend to September 3, 2019.
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