Tuesday, September 25, 2012

City: Arezzo removal final; Andriani loses federal case

City of Hoboken announces:


The New Jersey Civil Service Commission issued a Final Administrative Action upholding the City of Hoboken’s decision to terminate Alfred Arezzo as Construction Code Official.

“We are continuing with our search for a permanent construction code official and invite applications from all qualified individuals,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “While the process can be lengthy and costly, the City will continue to vigorously defend itself to protect the interests of our community.”

Arezzo, who had served as City Construction Official, had been suspended following his refusal to attend mandatory sexual harassment training, interference with his subordinates’ attendance at the training and insubordinate behavior towards the City’s Business Administrator. Arezzo was terminated shortly after his suspension following his retaliatory destruction of City owned property, including the destruction of a laptop hard drive which contained information regarding public matters. Charged with insubordination, conduct unbecoming a public employee, misuse of public property and other sufficient cause, Arezzo’s termination was a result of the City’s continued efforts to ensure that all employees act in accordance with the high standards and expectations of both the City’s administration and its residents. 

In upholding Arezzo’s termination, the Civil Service Commission noted his highly insubordinate behavior towards the City’s Business Administrator as well as the seriousness of destroying City-owned property.  Echoing the City’s own concerns, the Commission concluded that “such an egregious act by a long term employee in a position of public trust cannot be tolerated and is worthy of removal.”

In addition, the Honorable William J. Martini, United States District Court Judge for the District of New Jersey, yesterday dismissed the federal case filed by former Police Lieutenant Angelo Andriani against the City of Hoboken, the Hoboken Police Department, Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Police Chief Anthony Falco, and Police Captain Edimiro Garcia. The Judge dismissed all claims of discrimination and retaliation asserted by Andriani.

The court order is available on the City website: www.hobokennj.org/docs/corpcounsel/Andriani-v-Hoboken-Order.pdf

Mr. Arezzo and Mr. Andriani are each involved in additional ongoing litigation with the City.

Kids First Kickoff introduces its BoE candidate slate

Sunday the Kids First launched their bid for the November Boe election at the Turtle Club.


As excerpted from Hoboken Now story: http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ssf/2012/09/post_104.html

Three candidates running on the Kids First 2012 slate launched their campaign yesterday afternoon for the Hoboken school board elections in November. The lineup of three candidates, Ruth McAllister (incumbent), Jean Marie Mitchell (a board member in 2010-11) and Tom Kluepfel attended the crowded fundraiser at the Turtle Club on Park Avenue yesterday. "This election is about maintaining and improving on the gains that the Kids First campaign achieved in 2009 and supporting the amazing work of Superintendent. Dr. Mark Toback," Kids First campaign manager Deidre Wall said yesterday.

Talking Ed Note: This is the first Hoboken Board of Education election in November since the elections were moved from April to November as in the vast majority of New Jersey BoEs when legislation allowed communities to consider the move.

The Kids First coalition has held the line on spending routing money to school programs and the classroom while holding the line on the tax levy for three consecutive years.  It's been benchmarked at the mandated state minimum for most of that time.

Ruth McAllister says, "The money is going where it belongs... to help our kids learn."

When Kids First took over the BoE majority there were dozens of audit violations.  A tape for local broadcast detailing those violations disappeared from the recording.  The technician shooting the video will be familiar to the public.  It was Patrick Ricciardi, the former City IT Manager who was arrested last November by the FBI for the massive looting of communications in the mayor's office.

He denied any knowledge how the select portion of the violations went missing.

After the video disappeared, the superintendent promptly fired him.