It’s America. Everyone deserves the right to be represented by competent legal counsel.

But, there appears to be an epidemic of potential conflicts of interest regarding local attorney’s representing politically connected people … or, participating in Atlantic City-centric legal cases.

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Michael Blee has allowed an attorney who has a large legal contract with the City of City to participate in a case involving a sitting Atlantic City Councilwoman (LaToya Dunston).

Blee allowed attorney Anthony Antonelli to represent Dunston's opponent Viana Bailey in the election challenge case for the 2nd Ward Atlantic City Council race.

According to Dunston, Antonelli also has a legal contract with the City of Atlantic City.

Dunston wanted Antonelli replaced. It didn't happen.

It appears that it should have.

Why Blee has allowed this remains a mystery.

Dunston was facing a similar situation when attorney Damon Tyner attempted to represent a Dunston opponent in a separate case.

Margate City Municipal Judge John H. Rosenberger halted a Monday, February 26, 2024 court case between Atlantic City Councilwoman LaToya Dunston versus Craig Newsome.

Dunston filed charges against Newsome for allegedly making violent threats against her on Primary Election Day, Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

Judge Rosenberger halted the proceeding when a question was raised if Newsome's attorney, Damon Tyner had a conflict of interest because he has a contract to provide legal work for City of Atlantic

Tyner acknowledged to Judge Rosenberger that he does have a conflict of interest. That immediately ended today's court hearing ... which has been rescheduled for Monday, March 25, 2024.

Unrelated, Tyner was recently named the new municipal prosecutor in Vineland City.

Tyner is also a former Atlantic County Prosecutor, New Jersey Superior Court Judge and New Jersey Administrative Law Judge.

Tyner either knew, or, should have known that he had a conflict of interest.

Dunston has stated to us that she believes that Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small is the one who lined-up Antonelli and Tyner to represent her opponents.

Now, Marty Small is being legally represented by Tracy L. Riley.

In the case Craig Callaway v. Marty Small, Sr., in his individual capacity, Small is being represented by Riley.

Here are recent documents that prove this.

Harry Hurley photos.
Harry Hurley photos.

There is no doubt that Riley is representing Small. However, is there a direct conflict of interest, or, the appearance of a conflict of interest?

Riley is Solicitor for the Atlantic City Board of Education.

Small’s wife is the Superintendent of the Atlantic City Board of Education.

If it’s not legally wrong … it certainly doesn’t seem right.

Kudos to Judge Rosenberger.

Shame on Judge Blee.

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