Jim Doyle's council seat remains vacant for at least another meeting.
While Assignment Judge Peter Bariso ruled that the latest vote that appointed Doyle was in fact valid, the council minority has appealed the decision.
Bariso's ruling last week stated that "the Municipal Vacancy Law was not intended to encourage gamesmanship. Council members should not be permitted to undermine the deliberative process and trump the intent of the legislature.”
But, since the appeal hasn't been heard yet, Doyle wasn't able to take place at the dais on Wednesday night. The decision was made a little after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, less than two hours before the start of the council meeting.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer said that tens of thousands of dollars have been spent on the case already.
The city council has voted on the vacancy three times since former councilwoman Carol Marsh stepped down in September. The four minority council members sued Zimmer, City Clerk Jimmy Farina and City Attorney Melissa Longo, claiming that Doyle's appointment — which was done in a 4-2-1 vote — was illegal.
Doyle was removed after Bariso ruled that his appointment, in fact needed five votes to pass. Doyle served two meetings as councilman.
"It is unfortunate," she said. "I welcome Mr. Doyle to the City Council and trust the members of the City Council will do the same."
Doyle, however, will not be welcomed by his minority colleagues just yet.
The case will now be heard by the appelate division in Newark, according to minority councilmen Tim Occhipinti and Michael Russo.
It's unclear when the case will be heard.
Corporation Counsel Melissa Longo on Wednesday night said that it could be between one and four months until the case is heard.
Until then, the Hoboken City Council will consist of eight members.