After interviewing candidates from five law firms over the course of two weeks, officials have named James Staudt of the law firm McCullough, Goldberger & Staudt, LLP to serve as counsel to the village.
Following the official resignation of Croton-on-Hudson village attorney Marianne Stecich of the law firm Stecich, Murphy & Lamer, the board of trustees unanimously voted to hire a replacement.
Ms. Stecich replaced former village attorney Seymour Waldman who had served as counsel to Croton for nearly forty years. Mr. Waldman was forced out by a newly-elected Republican board majority—led by Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt—in a surprise move immediately after the 2005 election.
Ms. Stecich, after only a year’s service to the village, notified Village Manager Richard Herbek early in June that she did not wish to continue as counsel and renew her contract (see: “Croton Village Attorney Marianne Stecich Makes it Official and Resigns as Counsel”). Her surprise decision left her chair on the dais empty for two meetings—although she had agreed to cover until a new attorney was hired.
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “WHEREAS, the Village Board of Trustees has completed a search for a new Village Attorney; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees interviewed five firms during this process and has decided to retain McCullough, Goldberger & Staudt, LLP,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the retainer agreement with McCullough, Goldberger & Staudt, LLP for its services as counsel to the Village of Croton on Hudson.”
Trustee Ann Gallelli: “So moved.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Thank you Trustee Gallelli. Second by Trustee Brennan. Discussion? We went through quite a process. We interviewed five different firms. It came to a pretty easy consensus at the end to who we felt most comfortable with but we did it in a very short amount of time like you said Trustee Kane. I believe it took two weeks—“
Trustee Charlie Kane: “It took two weeks.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “—to interview and get that done and part of that pressure was of course Marianne um, leaving and of course Mr. Herbek leaving and going away on vacation on us ah, we had to work quickly.”
Trustee Leo Wiegman: “Do we know when the new firm would start?”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “It would be effective when we ah, sign this I believe.”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “I actually have a meeting planned with—“
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Tomorrow.”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “—Mr. Staudt is going to be meeting the staff tomorrow at 11:30 and then at 12 noon ah, we’re having a get together with Jim and Marianne to kind of start passing the baton.”
Trustee Leo Wiegman: “Of course. So effective tomorrow?”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Its effective—“
Trustee Leo Wiegman: “Perfect.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “So—“
Trustee Ann Gallelli: “Very good.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “All those in favor?”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Opposed? No.”