Everett M. Johnson is a shareholder at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A. and co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee. Mr. Johnson has concentrated his practice in the area of public finance since he began practicing law in 2001.
Mr. Johnson has extensive experience in the issuance of competitive and negotiated tax-exempt and taxable obligations, including general obligation bonds and notes, revenue bonds, variable rate demand bonds, auction rate securities, lease-purchase financings, tax and revenue anticipation notes, tax appeal refunding notes, emergency notes, special emergency notes, and pooled loan transactions.
Mr. Johnson represents numerous public entities throughout the State of New Jersey in the issuance of tax-exempt and taxable obligations, including the Housing Authority of the City of Newark, the Parking Authority of the City of Newark, the Passaic County Improvement Authority, the Middlesex County Improvement Authority, the New Brunswick Parking Authority, the City of East Orange, the City of Trenton, the City of Plainfield, the City of Orange Township, the Borough of Red Bank, the Township of Monroe, the Township of Franklin (Somerset County), the Township of Hillside, the Borough of North Plainfield and various other municipalities, authorities and boards of education throughout the State of New Jersey. Mr. Johnson has also represented the State of New Jersey as Bond Counsel on various bond issues, including the conversion of Auction Rate Bonds to Fixed Rate Bonds for its Business Employment Incentive Program. Additionally, Mr. Johnson has served as Special Tax Counsel to the Newark Downtown Core Redevelopment Corporation. Mr. Johnson has represented various investment banks as underwriter’s counsel or placement counsel, including Wachovia Bank, National Association, Loop Capital Markets, LLC, Siebert, Brandford Shank & Company, LLC, and Powell Capital Markets, LLC. Mr. Johnson also serves as redevelopment counsel to the Township of Hillside and the Franklin Township Redevelopment Agency.
Mr. Johnson is also a Certified Public Accountant. Prior to attending law school, he worked as a tax senior for Arthur Andersen, L.L.P. where he provided tax preparation services and tax planning to high net-worth individuals, corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies.
In June of 2003, Mr. Johnson was appointed by Governor James E. McGreevey to serve as a Commissioner on the Essex County Board of Taxation, where he served as the President of the Essex County Board of Taxation from May 2006 to May 2008. Mr. Johnson has subsequently been reappointed to the Essex County Board of Taxation by both Governor Jon Corzine and Governor Christopher Christie. In September of 2004, Mr. Johnson completed the Leadership Newark Fellowship Program, which has the primary purpose of developing leaders in the City of Newark and the surrounding communities. Mr. Johnson currently sits on the Board of Greater Oaks Legacy Charter School, Independence: A Family of Services, Inc., and United Community Corporation. He is also a founding member and the Chairman of Black Americans Lobbying for Leadership of Tomorrow, a political action committee created for the purpose of supporting elected officials and candidates whose policies and positions benefit, serve and empower people of African descent.
Mr. Johnson has served as a speaker relating to public finance issues at the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education.
Mr. Johnson was selected for inclusion in New Jersey Super Lawyers “Rising Star” list. He was awarded the Leadership Newark’s Outstanding Corporate Partner Award, the Robert Lee Carter Legacy Award from the NJ State Conference of the NAACP, the ScoutReach “Good Scout” Award from the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and recognized for his contributions to the economic development of the City of Newark by the Brick City Development Corporation.