NEW JERSEY – In the end, perhaps everything worked out well. Judge Carlo Abad has been named as municipal court’s acting Chief Judge by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Peter Bariso on Friday, Feb. 15., two days after a divided city council rejected Mayor Jerramiah Healy’s appointment of Abad and Ray Velasquez.
Bariso also appointed Kenneth Lindenfelser as an acting municipal court judge instead of Velasquez. Both assumed their posts on a temporary basis until the mayor and the city council come to an agreement on a permanent choice.
“I applaud Judge Peter Bariso for designating Carlo Abad as Acting Chief Judge. This is the outcome I would have liked from the beginning – a qualified Carlo Abad as Chief and Healy crony Ray Velasquez denied a six-figure salary reward and a seat on our court. This is fantastic news,” Lavarro said in a statement.
Lavarro, the council’s first Asian and Filipino American, voted no to both appointments. He said he wants a process by which council members can review mayoral appointments — not only the basis of a resume submitted to the council for advice and consent.
“I am committed to reforming the process expeditiously and bringing Carlo Abad back before the council so he gets fair consideration based purely on the merits of his qualifications, “ Lavarro said.
This reporter reached out to Judge Abad for comments on his temporary appointment but all calls including an email sent to him were not returned.
Meanwhile, Lavarro called on his base of support n the Filipino community, after claiming to have been subjected allegedly “to race baiting tactics by his opponents”.
Speaking before a group of more than 40 residents and influential people in Jersey City Fil-Am community, Lavarro spoke openly about his decision pertaining to the judicial appoints and warned his supporters not to fall for divisive tactics from the opposition.
A “pulongbayan,” town hall meeting, is set to take place on Friday, Feb. 22, 6:30 p.m. at the Team Fulop headquarters located at 2175 Kenned Boulevard, corner Morton Place Lavarro and Fulop will be the main speakers and will be the main speakers and will be discussing the judge appointments and good government practices.
“Despite what the political cronies may say, I know what the community knows which is Filipinos stand together,” said Lavarro. “Don’t fall for these race baiting tactics – pitting Filipinos against Hispanics and Filipinos against Filipinos.”