Morristown Settles $5.5 Million Lawsuit Over Mayor’s Alleged Improper Influence in Real Estate Deal

MORRISTOWN, New Jersey – A developer and the town of Morristown have reached a settlement of $5.5 million, putting an end to a lawsuit that accused the mayor of improper influence in a real estate deal. The lawsuit, filed by the Silverman Group, alleged that Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty interfered in a deal between the developer and the Deloitte accounting firm.

The Silverman Group’s attorney, Joseph Fiorenzo, expressed hope that this case would serve as a message to public officials everywhere that such interference is unacceptable and carries real consequences. In response, Mayor Dougherty stated that the town’s insurance company settled the case for much less than the developer had demanded. He maintained that he, along with every other official of the Town of Morristown, acted within the law and appropriately. Dougherty also vowed that the town would not be bullied into making decisions harmful to its best interests.

The real estate deal in question involved Deloitte’s headquarters in Parsippany relocating to the developer’s South Street site in Morristown. Deloitte officials have yet to comment on the settlement. The town, in a separate statement, highlighted that the settlement was reached due to the ongoing costs of litigation.

The town officials emphasized their determination to protect the character of South Street against the plans of what they referred to as a “bully developer.” They rejected a project that they believed would fundamentally alter the essence of South Street and praised their decision to stand by their beliefs.

The lawsuit claimed that the mayor had used his influence to favor a site owned by his preferred developers, SJP Properties and Scotto Properties. Initially, the town had indicated that there would be no settlement. However, after nine days of testimony and multiple witnesses, the town reversed its position and sought a settlement.

As a result of the settlement, Deloitte moved to the mayor’s recommended project by SJP Properties and Scotto Properties. The Silverman Group accepted the $5.5 million settlement offer.

In conclusion, the settlement puts an end to the legal battle between the developer, the town of Morristown, and the mayor. It remains to be seen whether this case will have a lasting impact on public officials’ behavior when it comes to real estate deals.