Court rules that Lopatcong Mayor is NOT a King

Today the Superior Court dismissed Mayor McKay’s frivolous lawsuit against the Township Council, Clerk and several appointees. In holding that McKay “is the Mayor.  Not the King,” (page 41), the Court concluded that “the Mayor sees his authority akin to that of the President of the United States or the Governor of New Jersey” when in reality “both the Council and the Mayor govern the Township jointly.” (page 45).  Additionally the Court stated that the “Plaintiff effectively interprets his power and NJSA 40:69A-121 to provide him with dictatorial power.” (page 41). While the Township struggles to pay basic monthly expenses, Lopatcong taxpayers were forced to foot the bill today for no fewer than three different law firms so the Mayor could feed his ego and play politics with your tax dollars.

While the Court’s March 11, 2016 Order is 49 pages long, the Court’s actual reasons for denying all of the Mayor’s requested relief do not appear until page 32. Among the Court’s more poignant observations, the Court “does recognize that the Mayor holds executive authority pursuant to NJSA 40:69a-121. The Court is concerned that the Mayor misconceives the breadth of that authority, however. The concern, of course, is that the Mayor will use this Court’s simple and uneventful declaration that NJSA 40:69a-121 is valid, to support an unauthorized power grab. With regards to the Mayor’s request for the Court to recognize NJSA 40:69a-121 provides the Mayor with executive power, of course it does. But that authority does not grant the Mayor the right or power to govern the Township by his own whim or by fiat and without the Council.” (page 45).

Similarly, the Court refused to endorse the Mayor’s continued abuse of the same Municipal Clerk he was found to have sexually harassed. (pages 46-48).

On the issue of municipal finance, the Court also rejected the Mayor’s dictatorial attempts to circumvent State law and the Council’s authority. On that final issue the Court found that “the Mayor is not free to use his financial authority to withhold the payment of duly-authorized expenditures of the Township [to people he doesn’t like or with whom he doesn’t agree], where the issuance of authorized payments is a ministerial duty.” (page 49, note 16). And finally, as to the municipal budgeting process, “given the apparent conflict between [the Mayor and Council], it could be said that the Council’s anticipation that it may also have to prepare its own budget is a prudent step.”  (page 49, note 17).

The entire, 49 page decision is available here: Lopatcong-McKay Order 3/11/2016.

This frivolous lawsuit was a complete waste of money.  Join the Recall effort now and put an end to the Mayor’s endless abuse of his office, Township employees, and your hard earned tax dollars.

 

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