With two weeks to go in the LD26 GOP Primary, assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce (R-26) wants voters to know something about one of her two challengers.
According to an order by the State Supreme Court issued on October 19, 2016 and confirmed the New Jersey Attorney Index lawyer search, Morris County Freeholder and State Assembly candidate John Cesaro, like DeCroce a Parsipanny resident, has been administratively ineligible to practice law in New Jersey since October 21, 2016 for failure to maintain compliance with the requirements of Rule 1:28A-2(d).
Cesaro’s failure to disclose his ineligibility to practice law over the last seven months could have severe and adverse consequences for the municipalities that have or had awarded him taxpayer-funded public legal contracts, including Essex Fells, Hanover, North Caldwell, Parsippany and Rockaway Township, the DeCroce Campaign asserts.
“If true, this is an outrageous breach of trust by someone being paid by property taxpayers to represent the legal interests of multiple municipalities and citizens,” said the assemblywoman. “Freeholder Cesaro needs to come clean and explain why he is on this list and whether he disclosed his ineligible status to any of the elected officials in the towns where he has public contracts and was practicing law.”
DeCroce said that the outcome of any case Cesaro was involved in as a prosecutor or public defender could now be called into question by those involved.
“Every single case where Freeholder Cesaro acted as the attorney of record in municipal court could potentially be subject to motions to vacate, or for a new trial,” said DeCroce. “Any defendant who was dissatisfied with their outcome where he was the public defender could also bring a motion based on ineffective assistance of counsel. I can only imagine the devastating fiscal impacts that could have on these municipalities, who may be forced to refund fines, retry cases and disqualify judgments.”
The freeholder did not respond for a request for comment.