CAMDEN, NJ—The Camden City municipal clerk has filed a lawsuit against the city seeking 22 years of back pay for his role also serving as the city’s registrar of vital statistics.
In a lawsuit filed in Camden County Superior Court on Monday, Luis Pastoriza alleges that the city has not paid him for his role as the city’s registrar of vital statistics, a position he has held in addition to his role as municipal clerk since 1997.
Pastoriza is seeking jury trial demand for an award of back pay, compensatory damages, legal fees and other damages. He is being represented by Allan E. Richardson, of the Mullica Hill-based Vigilante Law Firm.
According to the lawsuit, Pastoriza has requested to be compensated for his role as registrar of vital statistics five times since 2001, each time failing and receiving no explanation as to why the city declined to compensate him as registrar of vital statistics.
“Despite his repeated efforts to secure compensation, Plaintiff has not received any compensation from Defendant for his duties as Registrar of Vital Statistics from the day he was appointed to that position,” the lawsuit states.
Pastoriza declined to comment Tuesday night. City spokesperson Vince Basara said the city does not comment on legal or personnel issues Wednesday afternoon.
The lawsuit alleges that the city violated the United States Fair Labor Standards Act, along with a breach of contract.
Pastoriza currently earns an annual salary of $125,285 as the city’s municipal clerk. The city’s salary range for the registrar of vital statistics is $28,000 to $75,000 annually.
A registrar of vital statistics is in charge of keeping the city’s birth, death, marriage records, domestic partnership records and civil union records. A municipal clerk is responsible for the keeping of city council records and minutes, administering oaths of office, serving as chief administrative officer for all elections held in the city and serving as secretary to the municipal seal.
Both positions are unclassified, and are not represented by a union and are appointed.
According to the lawsuit, the City of Camden administrative code requires the municipal clerk to serve as the head of the bureau of vital statistics after the responsibility was transfered to the municipal clerk's office from the department of human services in a 1994 ordinance. The suit also states the city council has the authority appoint a registrar of vital statistics. New Jersey law requires all municipalities appoint a registrar of vital statistics, the suit states.