West New York approves $20k contract for attorney linked to Roque trial

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The West New York Board of Commissioners approved a $20,000 contract for a Union City attorney with ties to Mayor Felix Roque’s commercial bribery trial last year, where he was acquitted by a jury of his peers

From left to right: attorney John MacDonald, West New York Mayor Felix Roque and attorney Chris Adams moments before Roque's acquittal last year. Attorney Mary Khellah's photo via Facebook.
From left to right: attorney John MacDonald, West New York Mayor Felix Roque and attorney Chris Adams moments before Roque’s acquittal last year. Attorney Mary Khellah’s photo via Facebook.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The Law Office of M.F. Khellah LLP was one of three firms that responded to a request for proposals on October 16th seeking to perform alternate prosecutor services for the Town of West New York, according to a copy of the approved resolution obtained from the clerk’s office.

The bid was selected on December 18th and then approved at the December 21st board of commissioners meeting.

Khellah beat out Maurice Giro, of the Hackensack-based firm Giro LLP, and the Law Office of Craig S. Kojac LLC, located in Oak Ridge.

According to the resolution, Khellah will be paid $350 per court session and $150 per hour for case/trial preparation and their contract cannot exceed $20,000 in 2018.

While Khellah did not represent Roque in last year’s bribery trial, where he was accused of taking $250,000 in cash bribes in exchange to referring patients to a Hackensack medical imaging center, she was at the trial everyday in preparation for another case.

Jersey City medical physician Dr. John Fritz was also accused of similar crimes by the state attorney general’s office, but was acquitted by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Mitzy Galis-Menendez in January.

He was represented by Howard Bernstein, who shares an office with Khellah on 42nd Street and she is of of counsel for his practice.

Additionally, Brownstein and Khellah were among many who celebrated Roque’s acquittal at Son Cubano last year, as reported by veteran political insider Augie Torres.

At the same meeting, Mateo Perez was approved as the municipal prosecutor through 2018, a position he has held for many years.

Khellah could not reached for comment on Friday.