MAYOR BOLLWAGE FIGHTS TO RECOUP OVER ONE MILLION DOLLARS OWED TO CITY BY JOINT MEETING FOR PASSAIC RIVER LITIGATION

Contact: Kelly Vence
908-820-4124
Public Information Office
 
MAYOR BOLLWAGE FIGHTS TO RECOUP OVER ONE MILLION DOLLARS OWED TO CITY BY JOINT MEETING FOR PASSAIC RIVER LITIGATION
 
 
ELIZABETH, NJ— April 28, 2014 - Mayor J. Christian Bollwage announced today that the City of Elizabeth has filed a lawsuit against Joint Meeting of Essex & Union Counties (Joint Meeting) on the grounds of breach of contract as well as an existing agreement. It is the position of the City of Elizabeth that Joint Meeting is in violation of agreed upon terms, conditions and responsibilities as they relate to operations and maintenance under the 1930 Contract and 1981 Settlement Agreement. 
 
"Contracts and agreements are executed to clearly define expectations, roles and responsibilities as well as protect all of the interested parties. However, when terms and conditions cease to be met, such as in this instance, the City of Elizabeth will apply its resources and explore all avenues available to recoup the money it is owed,"  said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage.  "This is an outrageous use of public funds and the City will challenge this misuse in order to ensure that justice prevails." 
 
The City is seeking judgment in the amount of $1,350,986.06 as well as damages, costs and additional awards resulting from fees that resulted from attorneys and related expenses for the Passaic River Litigation; excessive and unauthorized legal fees and expenses; costs excluded from the abovementioned contract and agreement including lobbying, public relations and other legislative fees; as well as funds deducted from the City of Elizabeth's share of Joint Meeting's surplus, which was announced in March 2014.
 
"The City of Elizabeth was represented by our in-house lawyers and did not need the excessive legal costs placed on us by Joint Meeting," said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage.  "As a tenant, we should not be responsible for legal or lobbying fees authorized by Joint Meeting."
 
The members of the Joint Meeting are: East Orange, Hillside, Irvington, Maplewood, Millburn, Newark, Roselle Park, South Orange, Summit, Union and West Orange. The City of Elizabeth is not a member of Joint Meeting, but a customer.