Paterson Top Stories

State Says City's Terminated Personnel Director Entitled to Return To Her Civil Service Job

325d8cf0a35c9dca2287_city_hall.jpg
325d8cf0a35c9dca2287_city_hall.jpg

 

PATERSON, NJ – The state has determined that Paterson’s fired personnel director, Betty Taylor, should be reinstated to the civil service position she held prior to her promotion two years ago, city officials said.

The City Council had terminated Taylor on June 14 for her role in Paterson’s flood overtime scandal. But she contested that action, filing an appeal with the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, on the grounds that she was serving as “acting” director and that her previous position as assistant personnel director provided her with union and civil service protections.

Sign Up for E-News

Officials said the state last week sent the city a letter saying Taylor should be allowed to resume work as assistant director.

“The council will abide by any higher authority if instructed to do so,’’ said Councilman Kenneth Morris, who was chairman of the committee that imposed the punishment against Taylor and three other administration officials.

Morris said he said he has not seen the state’s letter about Taylor yet. But he said his understanding was that it said the council did not follow the requisite procedures for imposing discipline against an employee like Taylor who had civil service and union protections.

Neither Taylor, her union representative, nor her attorney could be reached for comment for this story. Taylor’s mother died recently and a funeral service was held on Monday. It was not clear when Taylor would return to work because of her mother’s death.

Her mother’s poor health was one of the reason’s Taylor’s lawyer, Neal Brunson, had asked the city council to delay last month’s disciplinary proceeding. But the council denied that request.

Taylor’s critics went far beyond Paterson. In December, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs said in a report about Paterson’s overtime practices that Taylor’s job performance “with respect to payroll functions has been extraordinarily poor.’’ The report said there were discrepancies between the information on employees’ sign-in sheets and the hours for which they were paid overtime, that overtime was paid without written justification and that sloppy bookkeeping resulted in erroneous checks, such an one issued for $18,000 that should have been for $1,800. The state also said Taylor herself had received almost $15,000 in inappropriate overtime the past two years.

In its report, the City Council said Taylor had conspired with Community Development Director Lanisha Makle to “defraud and misrepresent” time records. The council also said Taylor “systematically processed and allowed overtime payments to be made to city employees without the proper documentation, and or verification of hours claimed to have worked.”

As a result of the city council inquiry, the city discontinued its recent practice of putting the personnel director in charge of payroll. Those duties were assigned to the finance department, where they had been previously under former Mayor Joey Torres' administration.

Also, this spring, the city hired a state-approved personnel expert, Steve Chestnut, to serve as Taylor’s assistant. In recent weeks, some officials have speculated that Chestnut would be made the director in light of Taylor’s termination. That still may end up happening with her being relegated to the assistant’s job.

As assistant director, Taylor’s salary had been $53,868. As director, she was making $81,947.

Last year, Taylor had been involved in another city controversy over the $43,000 in home repair funds she received from the Paterson Pride program, which is supposed to benefit people with low and moderate incomes. At her assistant’s salary, Taylor qualified for the program. But the director’s salary put her above the income limit. Taylor’s Paterson Pride funding had been approved by Makle.

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

‘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 ...