Friday, July 06, 2018

Law Firm Disputes NorCo Resolution

John Lushis
On June 21, Northampton County Council adopted a strongly-worded resolution calling for the resignations of General Purpose Authority (GPA) Chair Shawn Langen and Solicitor John Lushis. This followed a lengthy meeting the day before, in which Langen suggested once or twice that Council might lack his understanding of high finance. But when Council member Lori Vargo Heffner asked him to explain what he does, he refused to answer. He instead complained that the meeting, which he earlier derided as a "dog and pony show," was making him late for a dinner party.

Lushis, whose billing has been characterized as "outrageous" by Executive Lamont McClure, was paid $813,039.30 in 2016 and 2017. This includes $153,343.50 for “special legal services” in 2017 without authorization from anyone other than former Executive John Brown.

Earlier in the week, Lushis said it would be inappropriate for him to discuss his firm's billing. So he failed to appear before Council.

But his law firm - Norris, McLaughlin and Marcus - has decided it's appropriate after all. According to Council member John Cusick, the law firm has responded and "contradicts" the Council resolution. He made this announcement during Northampton County Council's July 5. He asked Council Solicitor Chris Spadoni whether it is public, and he ruled yes.

It will be posted here on Monday, along with an analysis. I did not expect this law firm to admit, "Yes, we soaked you."  But regarless what it says, the mere fact that there is a response contradicts Lushis' vow that there would be no explanation.

Incidentally, on June 29, a partner in Norris, McLaughlin and Marcus (NMM) - Scott Allinson - received a 27-month sentence for political corruption. Allinson was Lushis' predecessor on the GPA.

In her closing speech to the jury, AUSA Michelle Morgan referred to NMM managing partner Matt Sorrentio as a liar.

He has since resigned from the firm and is now the Chief Legal Officer at Lehigh Valley Health Network.

In other business, Cusick questioned the claim that the friction between GPA and the County is preventing developer Rockefeller Group from building the three-lane bridge it is required to build for a warehouse development in Allen Township. Administrator Charles Dertinger responded that NorCo is committed to paying for a two-lane bridge at the site, but that Rockefeller can pay for a third lane  Since it agreed to pay for a three-lane bridge, this should present no difficulty.

Finally, Council commended four scouts from Troop 44 in Bushkill and Troop 76 in Upper Nazareth for their work in the gardens at Gracedale. They are Peter Gladstone, Nicholas Marth, Andrew Miller and Jonathan Werner.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

So is anyone looking into the money and if it was spent legally? Will it just slide? Is this the end of the affair?

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is by no means the end of this affair.

Anonymous said...

The county needs to sue to get the taxpayer's money back...the AG or whomever needs to criminally investigate this whole sham, including the last executive and it's administration!!

Anonymous said...

Why would a leading hospital network hire anyone from a firm where someone went to jail?

Anonymous said...

Keep the heat on them Bernie!

Anonymous said...

Chief legal officer at LVHN. Omg! Wait till the heavy donors hear this

Anonymous said...

Bernie, do you think there parasitic lawyerz are part of the grant harvesters? Than too, do they steal from the innocent indigent ones futures as well as anticipated income from the prospectable healthcare imports.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the County can take them to the Fee Dispute Committee?

Anonymous said...

Nice job Jimmy Breslin !

Anonymous said...

Who knew so much would come out of a little committee meeting. Too bad Allentown's council didn't work like this early on.

Innocent Bystander said...

Anon 9:12 - you are a genius! Who ever you are , your a genius.

Peter J.Cochran said...

I had two attorneys in my family . I know some jokes about lawyers and skid marks . All that . I know one I’d off if it was legal to kill him . . My two relatives were Hemstreet and Darrow . I’m proud that Of both of them - of family . When a attorney is accepted into the bar they become like a court officer. Violation of ethics should be swift. I know a guy in a second floor step up that must be a con man . The bar should “ police” characters like this so fine men and ladies that are real lawyers should not have to endor the derogatory jokes, or reputation.

Anonymous said...

Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus P.A. Private Legal Services Bridgewater, N.J. voted # 13 best small business workplace in the Lehigh Valley in 2018. Who would have thought