Perkins serving as acting mayor in Orange

Following Mims Hackett's plea of guilty to attempted extortion, Council President Lisa Perkins took the reins of government in Orange today, andis now serving as the city's acting mayor.

Orange has a codeprovision in the event of the mayor's illness,which givesthe business administrator authority to take over in the chief elected official's absence.

But in this case, state law regarding succession trumps Orange's code and grants authorityto the council president to step in for a mayor who has pleaded guilty to a corruption charge.

Councilman Edward Marable, Jr. today said he would consider challenging Perkins's right to serve as mayor.

"I have heard that she is somehow related to him (Hackett)," said the councilman. "I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is that could be antithetical to the spirit of the law."

Orange had anelection earlier this month in which voterspicked West Orange Patrolman Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. as mayor. He begins his four-year term on July 1. Perkins serving as acting mayor in Orange