On advice of counsel…

The Jewish Daily Forward has a new article out by Ari Feldman entitled: Why A Sleepy New Jersey Suburb Targeted Hasidic Jews With ‘Anti-Semitic’ Laws

Near the end they reference a “PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL” letter from the Town Council attorney for Mahwah, Brian Chewcaskie.  In the letter, dated September 6th, he writes:

“In light of the fact that the Division of Civil Rights is seeking any and all documents relating to Ordinances 1806 and 1812, it is my suggestion at this point in time that the Township does not introduce or adopt any ordinances until such time as the Review by the Attorney General’s office is complete.”

The Council, against their own attorney’s advice went on to introduce:

Ordinance 1814 (meeting of 9/14/17): Prohibiting Peddling and Soliciting after complaints surfaced of Hasidic Jews traveling with suitcases of cash to purchase houses.
Ordinance 1815 (meeting of 9/14/17): Tabled as per advice of Attorney
Ordinance 1816 (meeting of 9/14/17): Prohibiting 38 items in Township parks including “run[ning] or string[ing] any public service utility into, upon, or across such lands, without written consent of the Municipality.

The Council then, still against their own attorney’s advice went on to adopt these ordinances on September 28, 2017 and discussed requiring “arm-bands” to use recreational facilities.

Of course, just after ignoring the letter from the Mahwah Township attorney advising against going forward with these ordinances, the Council President Robert Hermansen said during the Sept. 28th meeting:
“We listen to our attorneys” (52:45).

2017-09-06_Chewcaskie to Council re AG adoption of 1806 and 1812

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