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Ex-Cop's Candidacy Still Uncertain, Attorney Says

John Inglesino responds to Dr. Louis Valori announcing his run for Town Council.

Township Attorney John Inglesino released a memo Tuesday addressing whether Dr. Louis Valori legally can run for the up for grabs in November.

According to Inglesino, the answer is unclear.

In his memo, which is addressed to the Parsippany Republican Municipal Committee, the attorney said that according to state law, Valori, who retired from the in June but remains on "terminal leave" and thus still is considered a town employee, is not eligible at this time to serve in an elective office.

Valoris's terminal leave ends Oct. 1, however, so if he were to run and win, he would be free and clear to serve as of November.

for the .

But does he have the legal eligibility to follow through and run for the position? As of Monday, Valori said he believed he was eligible.

In Inglesino's opinion, however, the law says there is a difference between running for office and holding office.

"A plain reading of NJSA 19:13-20(e) appears to suggest that Mr. Valori is ineligible to be a candidate for the vacant council seat because he does not [officially] retire until Oct. 1, 2012," Inglesino wrote in his opinion. "However, case law suggests that Mr. Valori's eligibility to be a candidate is distinguishable from his eligibility to hold office. Thus, there is no clear legal authority to definitively state, under the facts of the instant matter, whether Mr. Valori is eligible to be a candidate for Town Council this November."

In the absence of any assurance under the law, Inglesino suggested that if Valori chooses to continue with the council candidacy he announced Monday, he would be taking a bit of a legal risk.

"That law, otherwise known as the Vacancy Law, requires a certification that Mr. Valori may or may not be comfortable to sign," Inglesino told Patch.

The attorney referred to a portion of the law that says that in order to run, candidates must sign a form swearing that they are qualified under state law to be a candidate. 

"Mr. Valori's eligibility turns on whether he is qualified under the laws of New Jersey to be a candidate for the vacant council position and whether he can provide the necessary certification to satisfy NJSA 19:13-20(e)," Inglesino wrote in the memo.

The problem is that NJSA 19:13-20(e) does not define the word "candidate," but the Vacancy Law does: "any person who shall file, or cause to have filed, a petition of nomination for election, or for election, to any local elective office." Neither law defines "qualified under the laws of this state."

Therein lies the murkiness.

Patch asked Inglesino what he thought Valori should do.

"I am not Mr. Valori’s attorney, so I can’t comment on what he should or should not do."

Valori, when reached by Patch, said he was still trying to get a handle on Inglesino's opinion, though he did say he believes in his his eligibility and that his candidacy is still alive.

He said he will be reaching out to his own lawyer for guidance.

Kenneth Kaplan August 15, 2012 at 12:49 PM
My precedent for this matter would be that 17 year olds who turn 18 by election day may register before they are 18 in order to be eligible to vote in that election. Of course Dr. Valori is eligible to run!
Bob Crawford August 15, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Can we get confirmation that the Parsippany Republican Municipal Committee (and not Parsippany tax payers) is paying the bill for the legal work that Mr. Inglesino is conducting to determine Louis Valori's eligibility. At last night's Town Council meeting Roy Messmer asked that question and the Mayor said that he would check with the Chairman. The matter of Mr. Valori's eligibilty is an internal Republican Party issue that might have been avoided if known concerns about his qualifications and candidacy had been raised and resolved at the June 25th Parsippany-Troy Hills Republican Committee meeting. The fact that those concerns were not raised at that meeting should not result in Parsippany tax payers having to pay yet another legal fee.
patchitup1 August 15, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Mr. Crawford you are a voting member of the republican committee and are well aware of how much money it has. They don't have the resources to pay for a candidates legal fees. Mr. Valori has a responsibility to himself and the committee to make sure he can run for office! Now the question here is is he even eligible to run against a Dem if the committee does pick him again? I don't think so they will win by default. So do you and the rest of the committee want to risk a candidate in November who is at best questionable? I hope the committee can read between the lines and avoid that by choosing a better candidate. After all Louie resigned early from the BOE and his motives are very questionable to why he is So determined to get this seat now. There is no Lock here by far!
Analli Citall August 15, 2012 at 07:21 PM
patchitup1, Just curious if you are suggesting that Parsippany tax payers should pay for the legal advice to the Parsippany Republican Committee? Will the tax payers pay for legal advice to the Parsippany Democratic Committee? What about the Parsippany Independents Committee? What difference does it make how much money the Parsippany Republican Committee has in the account? If they can't afford the legal advice then they should not have seeked it out? Unless Inglesino happens to be doing this pro bono.
Robert Lawrence August 15, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Bob Crawford is right -- since Lou Valori failed to disclose his eligibility problem at the previous meeting and since Lou Valori now has forced a legal opinion from the Township Attorney over Valori's own eligibility, Lou Valori (not taxpayers) should pay the costs associated with Inglesino's counseling. Since Bob Crawford is an elected Member of the Republican Committee, he is perfectly positioned to make sure Lou Valori makes good by Parsippany taxpayers. Mr. Crawford, Parsippany taxpayers will be holding you and Lou Valori accountable for Lou Valori's reimbursement of the legal expenses associated with the determination of Lou Valori's eligibility. (Since Lou Valori is collecting more than $150,000 in terminal-leave pay, is sitting on a fat pension, and just came back from a long Italian vacation, Valori should have no problem paying the bill and clearly can afford it much more than taxpayers can.) By reply comment, Mr. Crawford, please confirm to us taxpayers that you as an elected official will be making sure Lou Valori pays his legal bill. Thank you for raising the issue, Mr. Crawford, and we look forward to your prompt confirmation on this comment board.
patchitup1 August 15, 2012 at 10:07 PM
No I'm saying Mr Valori should be paying for it.
Bob Crawford August 16, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Mr Lawrence I don't have enough information to know who should pay Mr. Inglesino but given the fact that his response was sent to the Parsippany Republican Party I believe that that organization might be obligated to pay the bill. That assumes, of course, that the leadership of the Parsippany Republican Party requested Mr. Inglesino to render an opinion. Perhaps, Mr. Inglesino would be good enough to clear this matter up by telling Parsippany residents who directed him to look into this matter. Unlike patchitup, I doubt Mr Valori should pay because he has retained his own attorney. At last night's Town Council meeting the Mayor said he would check with "the Chairman" to see who should pay. I am sure that "the Chairman" would agree that this is one legal bill that doesn't belong to Parsippany's tax payers. Hopefully we will hear from the Mayor soon. .
clyde donovan August 16, 2012 at 12:44 AM
There's one way to solve this without spending taxpayers' money in court..............don't vote for Louie "The Lock" Valori.
Robert Lawrence August 16, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Stop your doubletalk, Mr Crawford. You have no problem expressing yourself clearly when you want to. Here is a clear question demandinga straight answer from you, Mr. Crawford, an elected official owing a duty to taxpayers: you fully agree that Lou Valori should pay the legal bill if Lou Valori requested that a legal opinion on his eligibility be obtained from the Township Attorney, yes or no? We await your straight answer -- you know, the sort of straight answer you demand of everyone else. (Please don't insult our intelligence with more of a politician's doubletalk.) Thank you.
Bob Crawford August 17, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Robert Lawrence Yesterday members of the Parsippany Troy Hills Republican Committee were advised via memo by the Committee's Chair, Nicole Green, that: "By way of email dated July 27, 2012, Committeman Lou Valori requested that the Parsippany Republican Municipal Committee through its Chair, seek a legal opinion from the Township Attorney for Parsippany Troy-Hills, John Inglesino, Esq, regarding whether Committeman Valori is "eligible to run for the upcoming general election" " Ms Green enclosed a copy of the Township Attorney's legal opinion (dated August 14,2012) responsive to the request of Committeeman Valori which was sent to the Parsippany-Troy Hills Republican County Committee with a copy to the Mayor and Council and the Parsippany-Troy Hills Democratic County Committee. So it would appear that Mr. Inglesino at the directive of Committee Chair Green agreed to undertake the legal review of Committeeman Valori's eligibility. As a consequence any fee owed to Mr. Inglesino is the obligation of the Republican Committee. Ms Green could have denied Committeeman Valori's request and surely Mr. Inglesino understands that only the Mayor and Town Council are authorized to approve the expenditure of municipal funds. So Mr. Lawrence my straight answer is that Lou Valori is not responsible for paying Mr. Inglesino's legal bill and the Republican Committee is responsible to do so unless the Mayor and the Town Council authorized Mr Inglesino to do the work.
patchitup1 August 17, 2012 at 03:23 PM
One way or the other "Louie the lock "is costing the tax payers $$$$$ already! Thanks for the Info bob. When is he going to share his opinion letter that he has saying that he is clear to run?
Bob Crawford August 17, 2012 at 03:57 PM
patchitup1 Let's respect Mr. Lawrence's request to limit the double talk and stop the name calling and stay focused on the question that Mr. Lawrence has raised which is who is responsible for paying Mr. Inglesino? Assuming that neither the Mayor nor the Town Council requested Mr. Inglesino to do the work and understanding that Lou Valori made a request that Nicole Green, in her capacity as the Republican Committee Chair, followed up on, who is responsible for paying Mr. Inglesino and why. That's the question on the table that you and others just don't seem to want to answer. Perhaps you could address that question directly to the Mayor given his promise at this week's Town Council meeting to follow-up with "the Chairman" to get an answer. I understand that you have direct access to the Mayor so do us all a favor and ask him to provide us with some straight talking and clear answers. Thank you
patchitup1 August 17, 2012 at 06:24 PM
We all have direct access to the mayor Bob! . Why don't you go to his office and speak with him? Then you can get straight answers and as you say "stop all the name calling". Try that for once and I would like to here the clear answered.
Bob Crawford August 17, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Patchitup1 No need for anyone to go to the Mayor's office because we can communicate directly with him via the medium that Patch offers us all.. Not to be presumptuous, but I am going to ask the Mayor on your behalf and my behalf and Mr. Lawrence's behalf to answer the question regarding who he believes should pay Mr. Inglesino. By asking the Mayor to respond to that question via the Patch, we can all receive the same answer simultaneously thereby removing the possibility that anyone might misunderstand or misinterpret what the Mayor's answer is. Thank you for joining me in asking the Mayor for his response and hopefully he will respond to us quickly.

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