The West New York Board of Commissioners held a moment of silence for deceased former Passaic Mayor Margie Semler, 92, a friend of town attorney Donald Scarinci – who drew a parallel between her and Mayor Felix Roque.Â
“In 1993, when she was first elected mayor, she reached out for me, I didn’t know her at all, she was recommended to me,” Scarinci explained at yesterday’s board of commissioners meeting.
“And she took me to lunch. And she quizzed me, I guess for about an hour-and-a-half, about municipal law and the types of things she wanted to do in the city of Passaic as the mayor, and asked me a whole bunch of questions. By the time it was time for coffee, she asked me to be her town attorney,” he recalled.
Scarinci said he nearly fell out of his chair before he accepted the job, given that he had no prior relationship with Semler.
Before standing up for a moment of silence, Scarinci, told a similar story about how he ended up becoming town attorney in West New York in March 2014 – during Roque’s first term in office.
Semler is remembered for her honesty and ability to stand up against corruption, also boasting that she never held one fundraiser while in officeÂ (per The Record).
Meanwhile, Roque is currently under indictment for allegedly engaging in a $250,000 bribe kickback scheme with a medical imaging company, with his first pre-arraignment conference rescheduled for later this month.
However, the matter does not seem to bother the residents of West New York, as this was the second board of commissioners meeting in a row where no one in attendance felt it necessary to question the situation – though last month’s meeting occurred just one day after Roque’s mother passed away.