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With legal matters on the horizon, Brentwood switches law firms

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Brentwood Borough has brought in new legal counsel to help handle various issues they plan to tackle in the coming months, leaders said.

Borough council on Monday, in a 6-0 vote, appointed Cohen & Grigsby P.C., a law firm based in Pittsburgh, to replace four-and-a-half-year borough solicitor Ayoob & Associates LLC.

Councilwoman Stephanie Fox was absent.

“Council was looking for a firm that had more breadth and depth for a lot of the issues that are coming up,” council President Marty Vickless said.

Cohen & Grigsby has 130 attorneys with a second office in southwest Florida and has a broad base of expertise, from land use to taxation, employment matters and litigation, said Cohen & Grigsby attorney Michael Metcalfe, who was at Monday's meeting.

The firm is much larger than Ayoob & Associates, Vickless said, and was brought in because of its experience. Thomas Ayoob did not return calls seeking comment. A team, spearheaded by partner Cliff Levine, will oversee Brentwood's legal matters, Metcalfe said.

“They give us more coverage over a wider area,” Vickless said.

Ayoob & Associates was with the borough since 2010 and charged $145 per hour for ever service, borough Manager George Zboyovsky said. Cohen & Grigsby's rates will vary based on services provided.

Council members in January hired Cohen & Grigsby to serve as special legal counsel to handle matters associated with the police department, working with Mayor Dennis Troy.

The new lawyers will work with Brentwood leaders as they work to pursue a Public Private Partnership for a new municipal facility, Vickless said. They also will be tasked with overseeing landlord/tenant disputes.

“It's making sure that we do the things that we have to do and that our ordinances are set up in the correct way so that we can perform what we want,” Vickless said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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