Carmelo Garcia's contract revealed shows controversial authority over Federal and State law, generous increases, benefits and "sole appointing powers" in the HHA.
The controversial secret contract of HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia withheld from the HHA board and the public at large is finally revealed today in a MSV exclusive report.
The five year contract shows Garcia scheduled to receive a salary increase to $165,000 on September 1 later this year, an increase from his current salary of $157,500. The contract shows Garcia's starting salary of $150,000 back in September 2010.
In September of 2014, the contract is scheduled to pay Carmelo Garcia $172,500.
The contract was negotiated by current HHA counsel Charles Daglian, his signature appears on the contract with an attorney also representing Garica.
The generous salary is met with even more luxurious benefits including 21 days of vacation and another 21 days of sick time annually!
The most controversial terms however in the agreement concerns any conflict with state and federal laws. Article XII states anything "illegal under Federal or State law" does not affect the remaining terms of the contract!
Is it ethical or legal for an HHA attorney to negotiate illegal terms into a government contract?
The contract also states as quoted in last Thursday's HHA meeting, Garcia has "sole appointing authority," a centralization of powers Hoboken has found distasteful after the revelation of corruption under former Mayor and felon Peter Cammarano who sold zoning rights for $25,000 to FBI informant Solomon Dwek in 2009.
It's unclear if the contract meets NJ and Federal statutes and also if any inherent powers of HHA commissioners can be transferred without a public vote as stated in the 2010 agreement.
One member of the HHA did see the contract back in 2010 as the signature of Jean Rodriguez appears as a signatory.
|The red flag in the contract may be Article XII to subrogate Federal and State Law to Carmelo's Garcia's contract never seen by the public. Is this the reason the contract has been kept secret for years?|
Talking Ed Note: One point in the contracts addresses an annual performance review by the HHA commissioners. It's unknown if there's been any performance review of the Executive Director to date. If not, it's overdue by years. Since, no HHA commissioners have been able to obtain the contract from Mr. Garcia or Mr. Daglian, MSV guesses it has not taken place.
Both Garcia's current and starting salary are far more than Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer who cut her salary upon taking office in 2009 to under 115K and saw repeated attempts by the City Council under Michael Russo and Beth Mason to cut it again.
As for the terms of Carmelo Garcia's contract, Hoboken we have a problem!