Montclair has a new municipal court judge.
Joseph C. Angelo was sworn in Tuesday night at the Montclair Township council meeting. Angelo thanked Mayor Jackson and each of the council members for the “incredible honor,” stating he was humbled to be chosen for the position.
Angelo served as assistant township attorney and served as municipal prosecutor since 2013, being reappointed in 2017. Many of those in attendance were officials from the Montclair Police Department and Montclair Fire Department. Also present was Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin and Judge Joann Cacciola of Nutley, and former Nutley mayor.
“As I have in the past, I tend to carry out my duties with respect to the law as those who came before me,” Angelo said during the meeting. “Few jobs come with such tremendous responsibility and I’ll never take that lightly. I would like to thank everyone I worked with for the past 13 years. I can spend hours identifying each of you,” he added.
Angelo also thanked the people of Montclair, saying he is greeted with enthusiasm when he is stopped by local residents who recognize him from court, despite having been a prosecutor.
“The best thing about Montclair are the people. It’s so fitting that you put a man on the moon. It’s been one of the greatest honors of my life to work here. Thank you.”
Councilman Robert Russo thanked Angelo, commending him for being a great prosecutor.
“I think you’ve done a very good job as assistant town attorney,” he noted. “I think a lot of people don’t realize that you were assistant town attorney, which I thought maybe you might become town attorney at some point but you’re going to be our judge and you’ve done a great job as prosecutor and I’ve seen this for the many years that I’ve served on the council. We wish you the best of luck and keep doing a fair job as justice needs to be served.”
Councilwoman Renee Baskerville called it an honor to work with Angelo for the past 11 years.
“When we were discussing the type of individual we wanted to have represent us in the judge’s position in Montclair, that was an easy decision for me to nominate you, because you are a man of honor and integrity. It’s our honor to have you here and I know great things are going to happen here with you, so thank you,” Baskerville said.
Mayor Robert Jackson also commended Angelo on his new endeavor.
“The judge is one of the finest gentleman I’ve encountered in dealing with the world of public service,” Jackson said. “His word is his word, he works hard, he’s fair. People respect and admire you so much. This is nothing that was given to you and there was tough competition for this position. All of us are really proud of you and we’re honored to have you.”
Also honored Tuesday was Pat Brechka who was given a proclamation for her 37 years of service to the Township. Brechka is officially retired from the Montclair Recreation Department as of July 1. She served as director of recreational and cultural affairs and has held the post for the past 15 years. The department provides year-round recreational, cultural and athletic programs for all ages and abilities for the residents of Montclair. She holds a degree in recreation and a physical education teaching certificate. She joined what was then called the Parks, Recreation and Shade Tree Department in 1982.
“She brought her enthusiasm, organization skills and energy to her job creating and planning numerous young adult and youth and senior programs,” said Councilman Sean Spiller during the proclamation.
Additionally she organized many Veterans and Memorial Day events, and many fundraisers.
Russo added, “Pat earned the respect and genuine affection not only of everyone who worked with her, but also members of the community she served. Pat added immeasurably to the life of the community both as a municipal employee and lifelong resident.”