Paterson Top Stories

PBA Contests Stalled OT Checks; Flood Overtime Hearings To Resume This Week



PATERSON, NJ – Dozens of rank-and-file municipal employees are still waiting for $207,078 worth of overtime they say they worked during the floods in September. Paterson’s police union has filed a contract grievance to try to force the city council to release the checks, which have already been printed.

But the city council’s finance chairman, Kenneth Morris, says the money will go back into Paterson’s general operations fund if administration officials do not provide documents detailing the overtime claims, which are for the two-week pay period starting September 5. That decision may be made on Tuesday, Morris said.

Sign Up for E-News

Meanwhile, after two failed starts, the City Council on Wednesday is planning to launch its inquiry into the $756,000 worth of flood overtime checks issued for the last week of August and the first five days of September. The first wave of overtime included the controversial checks issued to Mayor Jeffrey Jones, his chief of staff and various department heads – payments that later were returned after the state said they were improper.

The two issues that prompted the adjournment of the first two overtime hearings seem to have been resolved.

Jones walked out of the first session, saying the administration needed until the end of October to compile the payroll records requested by the council. He also argued that employees had not been given enough notice that they might be called to testify. Officials said all the information has now been put together and provided to Morris, who is heading the inquiry.

The second hearing was cut short because City Corporation Counsel Paul Forsman, who represents both the administration and city council, decided he faced a potential conflict serving as attorney in proceedings that ultimate may end in lawsuits between the two branches of city government.

Since then, the city council has retained its own special counsel for the inquiry and on Tuesday is scheduled to approve a resolution retaining Richard Potter as the lawyer for the mayor.

The second wave of flood overtime checks worth $207,078, which officials say are made out to police officers, firefighter and public works employees, were pulled from the city council’s list of bills to pay during its October 25 meeting.

Morris said he has asked for records that would show exactly what days and hours the overtime for each individual covered, as well as an explanation for the need for the overtime.

“Absent the documents, the message you’re sending is that those hours weren’t actually worked,’’ Morris said.

The police union sent the city a letter objecting to the delay on October 27, said Policemen’s Benevolent Association, Local #1 president, Alex Cruz. The union then filed a grievance on November 19, Cruz said.

“It’s a violation of the contract,’’ Cruz said. “Our people worked these hours and are entitled to be paid for them. It seems like the city does whatever it wants to do.’’

 As of early last week, none of the other unions had filed grievances on the unpaid overtime, officials said.

Meanwhile, Wednesday looms as the night when Mayor Jeffrey Jones may unveil the findings of his administration’s review of the controversial flood overtime. The hearing is scheduled to start at 8 pm at City Hall. Two other sessions are scheduled for Thurs., Dec. 1 and Fri., Dec 2 (AN earlier version of this story said the third hearing was going to be on December 9, but that has changed.) 

Earlier this month, Jones met with City Council President Anthony Davis and two men went over the mayor’s report page by page. But the mayor would not give the council president a copy of it, Davis said.

“The mayor said if I took a copy, I couldn’t share it with the other council members, and I wouldn’t take it without sharing it,’’ Davis said.

Jones has said he wanted a meeting with the city council to present his administration’s findings.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Tue, July 24, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza


Wed, July 25, 5:00 PM

Barbour Park, Paterson

Graduate BBQ at Barbour Park



Thu, July 26, 6:00 PM

Vreeland Ave. Park, Paterson

Occupy Vreeland Ave. Park

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar

Readers Says Let Developer Bring Paterson Back

July 13, 2018

Dear Editor: 

It is no secret that Paterson is in dire need of revitalizing, restructuring, rebuilding, and, quite frankly, rebranding. As a city, we have struggled to pay our municipal debt, to reduce crime substantially, to create sustainable employment opportunities for our youth and to provide assistance for our city’s most vulnerable residents. 

Today, we face an uphill ...

Murphy Administration Takes Action to Help Smokers Quit

July 19, 2018

Eliminates Prior Approval for Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Medications; Counseling Options to be Expanded

July 16, 2018

(TRENTON) – The Murphy administration on Monday announced new steps to help New Jersey Medicaid recipients quit using tobacco by making it easier to receive tobacco cessation medications and counseling.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death ...

Pascrell, Renacci, Senators Celebrate House Approval of Congressional Gold Medal to Baseball Pioneer Larry Doby

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) hailed the passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 1861, the Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act. The legislation awards the Congressional Gold Medal to the late baseball star, Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947.

“A proud ...

Newark May Get a Boost From Investors with New Federal Program

July 22, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Newark could soon see a boost in long-term investments due to federal legislation that created certain tax exemptions for private investors.

In April, the federal treasury department approved low-income Opportunity Zones in 75 municipalities throughout New Jersey that were nominated by Gov. Phil Murphy. Thirteen of those zones are designated in Newark.

MORE: View a ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

I'm Sorry Mr. Jackson... I Am For Real

July 8, 2018

Hello again, Paterson. 

So much has changed since the last time I’ve written… as I’d hoped, Andre Sayegh is our new mayor and it seems an exciting new dawn is upon us. I think when any change comes, especially one as major as this, there is an opportunity for reflection as well as for hope. This election taught me quite a bit, seeing some of the best and worst sides of ...

RU Ready for Rutgers Football? Tickets on Sale

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - There's a lot of promotions planned this fall as part of the Rutgers football season.

Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12, with seven home games. There's matchups against Big Ten East opponents Michigan and Penn State, and a first-time cross divisional meeting with Northwestern.

If football is not your thing, there's plenty ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

Belmar Parasail: Soar Into Summer with a High-Flying Adventure Along the Beachfront

BELMAR, NJ — As Belmar finally basks in picture-perfect weather, it may be time to check off a summer activity on your bucket list. And for many, parasailing is one of those “must-do” experiences.

At Belmar Parasail, the season is in full swing, offering boat trips from the Belmar Manutti Marina to the beachfront where passengers are lifted 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean ...