Mr. Townes also counsels clients on a broad spectrum of labor, employment, and municipal matters, including disciplinary actions and terminations, labor relations, statutory, regulatory, and policy developments, procurement, government records requests, and land use. Additionally, he conducts external investigations on behalf of public sector employers, including investigations relating to allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, alleged violations of rules and procedures, and conflicts of interest. He further serves as Board Counsel for the Essex County College Board of Trustees.
Before joining the firm, Mr. Townes served as in-house labor and employment counsel and the affirmative action officer for the City of East Orange and served as an associate at a mid-sized New Jersey law firm, where his practice focused on education law, labor and employment law, civil litigation, and redevelopment. Of particular note, he provided counsel to various public entities, including several Abbott school districts and the City of Newark’s economic development corporation.
- I/M/O Esther Tyndall, CSC Dkt. Nos. 2013-733 & 2013-3452 (successfully argued to uphold two major suspensions before the Office of Administrative Law and Civil Service Commission)
- I/M/O Tamieka Dwyer, CSC Dkt. No. 2014-480, aff’d, Dkt. No. A-003282-14 (App. Div. Mar. 28, 2017) (successfully argued to uphold termination of police officer before the Office of Administrative Law, Civil Service Commission, and Appellate Division)
- I/M/O Marty Dias, Dkt. No. A-2080-13T3 (App. Div. July 14, 2015) (successfully argued to uphold major discipline against a police officer before the Appellate Division)
- City of Paterson and Paterson Police PBA 1, et al., PERC Dkt. No. CO-2019-191, D.U.P. No. 2019-6 (successfully argued for dismissal of unfair practice charge alleging violations of the Employer-Employee Relations Act in connection with selection of police chaplains)
- City of Paterson and Paterson Police PBA 1, et al., PERC Dkt. No. CO-2022-049, I.R. No. 2022-8 (successfully argued for dismissal of Order to Show Cause that sought to prevent prosecution of disciplinary charges against police officer who was subject to parallel criminal charges)
- James A. McCall v. City of East Orange, GRC Complaint No. 2016-126 (successfully argued for dismissal of denial of access complaint related to police dash cam video footage)
- Successfully argued for dismissal of discrimination charge before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which alleged Title VII violations in connection with a fitness for duty examination request made to a firefighter.
- Successfully argued for dismissal of discrimination charge before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which alleged Title VII violations in connection with firefighter sick leave confinement policy and request to attend religious meetings.
Memberships & Affiliations
- Lifetime Member, Garden State Bar Association
- Essex County Bar Association
- Assistant Corporation Counsel/Affirmative Action Officer, City of East Orange, 2014-2017
- Hon. Brian R. Martinotti, J.S.C.