North Buffalo Township supervisors terminated their relationship with attorney Chuck Pascal from Leechburg and opted to hire a Sarver-based firm.
Charlton Law will now represent the township in all matters. The firm is headed by Joseph Charlton, husband of Armstrong County District Attorney Katie Charlton. In addition to Charlton, the firm’s website states four other attorneys to be Jamey C. Belin, Micael J. Pater, D. Robert Marion, and former Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi, plus three paralegal individuals.
While voting to appoint Charlton as Solicitor, supervisors were not able to quote exact rates for services.
“It’s a variable rate, depending on what they do,” Supervisor Chairman Michael Valencic said. “They will only charge us when they come to the meeting or if we have some kind of legality that we need them to work on outside of our meetings.”
Valencic added that a bill would be submitted monthly by the firm for any services rendered. Supervisor Jennifer Matarrese said the rate would also depend on if one of the lawyers in the firm was doing the work, or if it would be handled by a paralegal.
“They said that we would only be charged for one attorney, even if two or three, or all four have to work on it. It would only be one rate based on whatever it is they are involved in,” Valencic said. He added that the Township would also be billed for office service such as copies, or other fees.
Valencic said the change in solicitors was because the supervisors felt the Township would get better service.
“I think Chuck was very professional, and a smart man, but he is busy, so we went with Charlton because they have more resources to handle some of the technical matters,” Valencic said.
Matarrese also felt the Charlton firm was more available to the Township than Pascal had been in the past.
“(Charlton) are experts in real estate, some in zoning, some in municipal law,” Valencic added. “We felt that would be better situated for our municipality.”
“We are getting the entire group,” Matarrese continued, “not one attorney. So we could have an attorney at every meeting if the need should arise and Mr. Pascal was busy and couldn’t provide that.”
The change became effective at last night’s meeting.