Friday, June 10, 2016
The Goshen attorney who said he would provide a fresh pair of eyes to help the Village of Bloomingburg sort through a pile of litigation and controversy has resigned after six weeks as village attorney.
Rory Brady stepped into a turbulent situation when he signed on to serve as Bloomingburg's attorney in April. The village was already wrapped up in multiple lawsuits involving Chestnut Ridge, a contentious 396-unit townhouse development marketed toward Hasidic families. New mayor Russell Wood and trustees Rivkah Mosesson and Aaron Rabiner are derided by many non-Hasidic residents of the village and surrounding Town of Mamakating as being "puppets" for Chestnut Ridge developer Shalom Lamm.
The three meetings since the March election have been packed with skeptical and, at times, combative residents. Village attorneys don't normally get much attention at meetings, but Brady has been questioned about his intentions, intelligence and ethics. Brady pointed to his experience in Goshen as a lawyer, village justice and town justice, and former village trustee, to reassure the residents, but many still asked whether he knew what he was getting into with Bloomingburg.
"I know what I walked into and I hope I can help you guys," Brady told the crowd at his first village meeting on April 21.
"My reputation stands for itself and I plan on continuing that reputation," Brady also said during a meeting, promising to uphold the law and do his best to advise the board.
Brady submitted his resignation by letter Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday evening, Brady said that legal ethics prevented him from sharing details about why he chose to resign, but he said that although it was an unfortunate situation, he felt he was leaving with his reputation intact.
Wood said Wednesday he likes Brady and is sorry to see him go, but since he received the resignation he has contacted another attorney and will schedule an interview this week. The board could have had its Thursday meeting without an attorney, Wood said, but he will reschedule the meeting to give a new attorney more time to settle in.
The most pressing thing the village is doing is seeking candidates for a planning board and a building inspector. Until the village re-institutes its own planning board, control remains with the town's planning board through inter-municipal agreement, and that board has decided to hold a hearing June 16 to consider rescinding site plan approval for Chestnut Ridge. It is unclear what would happen to the families who have already moved into Chestnut Ridge if the town revokes approval. A rescission would almost certainly lead to more litigation.
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