With nothing in the Bergen County Democratic Organization’s bylaws that gives authority to oust a sitting chairman, the party’s general counsel is working on a legal opinion to see if there is a mechanism to oust indicted Chairman Joe Ferriero.
“I’m working on a legal opinion right now, actually as we speak,” said counsel Paul Kaufman, who had no further comment on the matter.
An opinion is expected to be given to the party’s executive committee — who voted for a resolution calling on Ferriero to resign by January 15 if he is not cleared on all eight corruption counts before then — within the next several days.
U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman, who on Monday introduced a failed resolution in the executive committee calling on Ferriero to resign immediately, said he believes that the party will be able to call a special convention to vote on the future of Ferriero.
“The law permits a county convention, the BCDO, by vote of the county committee at a duly called meeting, at a properly called meeting, to remove Joe as chairman,” he said. “Notwithstanding that the bylaws and state statutes are silent on the subject, I believe that the party will go ahead and convene a county convention in January in 2009 should Joe fail to resign by January 15th, 2009.”
Whether the committee would actually vote to oust Ferriero, and whether they would need a simple majority or a two-thirds majority, are questions that remain to be settled.