For the prosecutor, Heller & Laiks (Aaron Heller, of counsel).
For the respondents, Thomas E. Duffy and Nicholas Martini.
Before Case, Chief Justice, and Justice Burling.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
BURLING, J. This writ of certiorari was allowed to review a resolution adopted by a majority vote of the Board of Commissioners of the City of Passaic passed November 18th, 1947, which resolution purports to settle the claim for architectural services of one Percy Simon against the City of Passaic for the sum of $37,000 and authorized the proper officials of the city to pay that sum to Simon upon receipt of his release. The prosecutor is the Mayor of the City of Passaic and a member of the Board of Commissioners. The original respondents are the three members of the Board of
Commissioners who voted in favor of the said resolution. By an order amending the writ dated April 14th, 1948, the Board of Commissioners of the city as a body was added. The City of Passaic is governed by five commissioners under the Walsh Act (R.S. 40:70-1, et seq.).
The claim in question was made by Simon in the amount of $63,810 for architectural services rendered to the city in connection with a Veterans' Permanent Housing Project estimated to cost $1,433,490, and undertaken by the city and the State of New Jersey, pursuant to chapter 323 of the laws of 1946 (R.S. 55:14G-1, et seq.) and the amendments thereof. On January 21st, 1947, a resolution was adopted by the then Board of Commissioners declaring an emergency existed and proposing the city join with the state in the above project. On the same day a resolution was adopted authorizing the then mayor and the city counsel to acquire a site and providing:
"Resolved that the Mayor and City Counsel be and they are hereby authorized to negotiate for the acquisition of whatever property may be needed to provide the necessary site in the vicinity of River Road and Westervelt Place for the proposed Permanent Veterans' Housing Project, and to report back the results of such negotiations to the Board of Commissioners.
"Be it further Resolved that the Mayor be and he is hereby authorized to do any and all things necessary to consummate the plan for proposed permanent veterans' housing he submitted to the Public Housing Development Authority in the State Department of Economic Development and the Board of Commissioners; and to obtain the grant of state funds for said project."
As the Board of Commissioners was constituted, the respondent Martini was the Mayor and Director of Public Works and the prosecutor, De Muro, was Director of Revenue and Finance. Subsequently following an election held in May, 1947, the present Board of Commissioners met and organized on May 20th, 1948, at which time the prosecutor was named Mayor and ...