In this action in lieu of prerogative writs plaintiff Evelyn Sutkowski demands judgment reinstating her to the position of Municipal Disaster Control Director of defendant Township of Jackson. Plaintiff also seeks a declaration of the appointment of defendant William Santos as being null and void.
Defendants Mayor and Council of the Township of Jackson, Felix Cabarle, Administrator, and William Santos, newly appointed Director move for summary judgment. The following is a stipulated statement of facts:
The office of Municipal Disaster Control Director is an office created under N.J.S.A. App. A:9-40.1, which reads in pertinent part:
In every municipality of this state the mayor shall appoint a municipal disaster control director from among the residents of the municipality. The municipal disaster control director, subject to fulfilling the requirements of this section, shall serve for a term of 3 years. . . .
On January 1, 1979 Edward Terhune was duly appointed by Mayor G. Donald Bates to the position of Municipal Disaster Control Director for a term of three years, that term expiring on December 31, 1980.
On February 6, 1979 Edward Terhune resigned from this position and Paul Sellers was appointed to the unexpired term of Edward Terhune by Mayor Arlene Polito.
On or about September 15, 1979 Paul Sellers died, and at that time Evelyn Sutkowski, who had been appointed Deputy Municipal Disaster Control Director, became the Acting Municipal Disaster Control Director.
On November 7, 1979 Evelyn Sutkowski was appointed as Municipal Disaster Control Director for a term commencing immediately and ending on December 31, 1980.
On November 20, 1979 a subsequent appointment was made by Mayor Polito of Evelyn Sutkowski to this position, this subsequent appointment correcting the original appointment so as to cause it to commence on September 15, 1979 and end on December 31, 1980.
Sometime during December 1979 the Mayor made a further appointment of plaintiff for a three-year term commencing September 15, 1979 and ending December 31, 1982. This appointment was corrected by a final appointment on December 28, 1979 of plaintiff for a term commencing retroactively from September 15, 1979 and ending September 14, 1982.
On January 4, 1981 the newly elected defendant, Mayor James J. McKenna, appointed defendant William Santos to the position of Municipal Disaster Control Director, commencing immediately and ending on December 31, 1983. The appointment was based on the belief and legal position of defendants ...