LINDEN, NJ – Democratic Municipal Chairman Nicholas P. Scutari charged City Councilwoman Lisa Ormon with “blatant nepotism that raises serious ethical issues” for her casting the deciding vote to give her brother, Mayor Derek Armstead, a $26,000 retroactive pay raise and a $25,575 “bonus check.”
At a December 2018 City Council meeting, Ormon cast the sixth and deciding vote to give her
brother a huge pay raise that included a $25,575 bonus check retroactive for the prior 11
months.
Chairman Scutari said Ormon’s action would be sent to the New Jersey Local Finance Board’s
Ethics Complaints Office to determine whether she violated State ethics guidelines.
“The Local Finance Board’s guidelines are clear: no local government officer or employee shall
act in any official capacity where that officer has a direct or indirect financial or personal
involvement,” said the Chairman. “It’s obvious to everyone that Councilwoman Ormon had a
personal involvement, and that both she and the Mayor should have asked the Local Finance
Board for an ethics review and ruling before they took this action” he added.
In the wake of Ormon’s deciding vote, both houses of the New Jersey State Legislature voted
overwhelmingly to support legislation banning retroactive pay raises for public officials.
The bipartisan legislation was supported 32 to 1 in the State Senate and 75 to 0 in the State
Assembly. The measure has been sent to Governor Phil Murphy for his approval.
“Elected officials should not have the capability to give themselves retroactive salary increases,
especially when most of the people we are elected to serve are working paycheck to paycheck,”
says Chairman Scutari. “It’s even more egregious when the deciding vote was cast by the
Mayor’s sister. The Mayor and Councilwoman Ormon owe the people of Linden an explanation
and an apology.”

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