Frank Kapusinski arguing a case before the New Jersey Supreme Court earlier this year.
Back in April, I reported that my brother, Frank Kapusinski, had argued a case in front of the New Jersey Supreme Court. He represented Bergen County’s County Executive in the case: Northwest Bergen County Utilities Authority v. Kathleen A. Donovan. The case revolved around a County Executive’s veto authority and had implications for the counties in New Jersey that have a County Executive form of government. The case was about a County Executive’s executive power and how that could be asserted over an independent agency.
Recently the New Jersey Supreme Court handed down its decision in this case.
Unlike a sporting event where there is a clear winner and loser, court decisions sometimes reflect the complexities of a case where competing statutes have to be interpreted with decisions that accept some of the arguments from both parties. This was that type of case.
The New Jersey Supreme Court decided the case Northwest Bergen County Utilities Authority v. Donovan by giving both parties something. The Court held that the then-Bergen County Executive, Kathleen Donovan, had been within her rights to use her executive veto to cut commissioners’ health benefits that had never been properly authorized. However, the Court held that her firings of the commissioners — when they ignored her vetoes – had not been undertaken consistent with applicable law.
So if you see Frank around the Landing, you can congratulate him for winning some of his arguments!