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James X. Sattely new Bergen counsel, replacing Ziegleheim

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

CLIFFVIEW PILOT SCOOP: Bergen County Counsel Jeffrey Ziegleheim officially resigned Friday and County Executive Kathleen A.  Donovan appointed veteran Deputy County Counsel James X. Sattely to replace him, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

James X. Sattely

The moves put an end to unsubstantiated rumors that insiders said had been planted by political adversaries.

Four Fridays ago, those rumours had Ziegleheim being fired and removed from his office.

Ziegleheim, meanwhile, took a leave of a few weeks to decide his future — only to be unexpectedly visited at his Wyckoff home by a newspaper reporter who he said hung around outside before slipping a note under his door.

Sattely, a U.S. Army reservist from Oradell who is also on the Board of Directors of Bergen Catholic High School, has served in the county counsel’s office since 1999 — under both Republican and Democrat county executives.

Succeeding him as deputy county counsel is John P. Libretti, who has served in the assistant role the past four years. Libretti received his B.A. in Political Science and Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University and its Law School.

Sattely, a marathon runner, received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Fordham University and his Juris Doctor from Quinnipiac University School of Law.

He served during Operation Enduring Freedom and is a major and judge advocate with the reserves, based at Fort Dix.

In his resignation letter, Ziegleheim thanked the Donovan for “the opportunity to work side by side with her and her senior staff,” and said that he had been contemplating leaving public service for the private sector.

Donovan thanked Ziegelheim for his contributions and called his decision to avoid any potential conflict by resigning and pursuing private sector employment full-time “indicative of Jeff’s commitment to the highest standards of professional conduct.”

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