Sergio Bichao, @sbichao
August 14, 2015
PERTH AMBOY - Mayor Wilda Diaz on Friday appointed the Hunterdon County Democratic chairwoman to be the city's new acting law director.
Arlene Quinones Perez becomes both the first woman and the first Latina to hold the top legal position in the city, which has a largely Latino population.
The appointment was announced days after a widely read political website reported on a backroom disagreement over who should get the job.
Woodbridge-based Democratic leaders who have supported Diaz's campaigns were pushing her, PolitickerNJ.com reported, to appoint a McManimon, Scotland & Baumann attorney who earlier this year helped overturn a City Council election in favor of one of the mayor's candidates.
Perez, of the firm DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole, has political experience of her own. She was elected councilwoman in the town of Clinton, becoming the only Latina official in conservative and Republican-dominated Hunterdon County.
"Mrs. Arlene Perez is committed to the people of Perth Amboy and possesses a unique blend of legal and government experience that will benefit our community," Diaz said Friday in a prepared statement. "I look forward to having Mrs. Perez join the Perth Amboy team."
The appointment was applauded by the Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey.
"Mayor Diaz's selection of Arlene Quinones Perez represents the kind of leadership that has moved Perth Amboy forward," organization President Michel Bitritto said in a statement. "Quinones Perez continues to break the glass ceiling for women in the state."
Perez, the vice president of the Northern Region for the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, has been with her firm since March after serving as general counsel to the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, and working as an associate specializing in securities fraud and election, municipal and labor law with the firm Kroll Heineman Carton.
Perez also has worked as a confidential assistant in the governor and attorney general's offices and clerked for U.S. District Judge Michael A Shipp, the city said in its news release.
Perez will take over for Mark Blunda at the end of the month.
For full text of the article, please visit: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/politics/2015/08/14/perth-amboy-appoints-hunterdon-democrat-citys-top-attorney/31744635/