100 City Workers Hired w/o State Approval

City Hall


PATERSON, NJ - In apparent violation of its agreements with the state, the City of Paterson has hired more than 100 employees without getting requisite approvals from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), officials said.

Paterson's fiscal problems and its reliance on transitional aid from Trenton have forced municipal officials in recent years to sign an annual agreement, called Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), that included provisions requiring the city to get state approval on hirings.

Sign Up for E-News

But in reviewing the city's recent layoff plans, state officials said they realized there were employees on the municipal payroll whose hirings had not been authorized by the DCA. 

"Part of the reason the City’s layoff plan was delayed in getting approved was because the State had never been notified of many civil service employees that were hired,'' said DCA spokeswoman Lisa Ryan. "We found more than 100 employees hired under the previous MOU for which no State approvals had been provided. We have made it clear to Paterson that it must get our approval before it hires personnel and that we will be diligent in checking its adherence to the requirement.''

State officials did not say exactly when those employees were hired. The city has been under state-imposed hiring restrictions for at least the past year.

It's also not clear what sanctions, if any, the city faces for hiring workers without state approval. DCA officials have warned Paterson that the state would put the city under state supervision if it did not resolve its fiscal problems with a balance budget.

Among the more than 100 workers on the state's list is Kenneth Sumter, the Eastside High technology teacher who has been simultaneously working for the city since September as Mayor Jeffrey Jones' director of information technology. Sumter makes $50,000 for his city hall job and $67,344 from the school district.

"We did not approve Mr. Sumter’s hire and are looking into the matter,'' said Ryan.

Jones did not return a phone message seeking his comment on the unauthorized hirings.

Councilman Kenneth Morris, the finance chairman, has raised concerns about the Jones' administration's hirings, especially in terms of their impact on the budget. The municipal tax bills issued last month included a 29-percent and the next wave of bills could impose another increase if city officials do not find another way to close their $12 million deficit.

In February, Morris issued a report that said the city had hired 60 employees with combined salaries of about $1.27 million after Jones took office in July 1. Morris said his understanding was that many of those employees had not been approved by the DCA.

Among those 60 employees are eight workers who were hired after the city council imposed a mandatory 10-day furlough program on all city departments except for public safety.

Morris said he thought it was "fundamentally unfair'' to hire new employees while workers already on the payroll were being forced to take unpaid days off.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


‘We Must Not Be Enemies’

May 9, 2018

Dear Editor

I want to take opportunity to congratulate Mayor Elect Andre Sayegh on his awesome election night victory and for running a campaign to unite all Patersonians. His message of “One Paterson” resonated with the electorate. I believe that Paterson's best days are ahead. He will govern the city the same way he campaigned, always putting Paterson and ...

Five Former Salesmen For Morris County Clinical Lab Sentenced For Bribing Doctors In $100 Million Test Referral Scheme

May 18, 2018

NEWARK, N.J. – Five individuals were sentenced today for bribing doctors in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running and elaborate scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, New Jersey, its president and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Doug Hurley, 38, of Hillsborough, New Jersey, and Kevin Kerekes, 52, of ...

Pascrell Signs Bipartisan Discharge Petition to Force a Vote to Protect Dreamers

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) signed a bipartisan discharge petition to force a long-overdue vote on the House Floor to protect America’s Dreamers.

“Thanks to a cruel act by Donald Trump and inaction by this Republican Congress, Dreamers have been living under a cloud of fear and uncertainty,” said Rep. Pascrell.  “I ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.


Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Passaic County CASA Recognizes Volunteer Child Advocates at Annual Event

May 11, 2018

WAYNE, NJ- More than 50 staff members, volunteers, and board members from Passaic County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) celebrated the impact of CASA volunteers at the organization's Volunteer Appreciation Brunch on April 28, 2018, at Laurelwood Arboretum in Wayne. This annual event recognizes Passaic County CASA volunteer advocates and the difference they make in the lives of ...

PayPal CEO says Rutgers grads need to "Help Repair the World"

May 14, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, called on the Class of 2018 to take a stand for social justice as they graduate during a time of unprecedented technological and social change.

He talked about the decision at PayPal to rescind plans to build a global operations center in North Carolina following legislation many considered discriminatory against the ...

Murphy Signs Legislation Championed by Paterson Senator Nellie Pou to Give DREAMers In-state Financial Aid

NEWARK, NJ - Legislation co-sponsored by Paterson's Senator Nellie Pou (D-35) allowing students to apply for state financial aid assistance, joining nine other states nationally to make both tuition and financial aid available to DREAMers, was signed into law on Wednesday by Governor Phil Murphy.

The DREAM Act was a bill created by Congress to allow undocumented immigrants ...

Brownie Troop Donates Cookies to Paterson Military Food Pantry. Joint Effort by Great Falls Rotary and Passaic County Board of Realtors Continues to Thrive

May 19, 2018

Today was such a momentous day in the life of a Rotarian/Realtor and the perfect example of community service and partnerships.

Roger Fields, a fellow realtor and current President of the VFW post in Butler and his wife Joan, when approached by Brownie Troop 96521 Butler-Bloomingdale Service Unit regarding the donation of Girl Scouts cookies immediately provided them with my contact ...