Stories like this are why submitting OPRA requests for even basic information like payroll, overtime and check registers can reveal potential misconduct and abuse. -NJFOG
Published by NorthJersey.com
July 29, 2015
By JOE MALINCONICO
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PATERSON — Four city council members are calling for an investigation into the possibility that Paterson paid out $773,186 in overtime to public works department employees in June 2014.
The public works overtime for that one month — the final 30 days of former mayor Jeffery Jones’ administration — amounted to 32 percent of the department’s $2.38 million overtime tab for the entire 2014 fiscal year, according to a report compiled by Councilman Julio Tavarez.
In fiscal 2013, the city spent $1.55 million on public works overtime and in 2012 the tab was $1.38 million, according to the councilman’s report.
“The numbers look very alarming,” Tavarez said during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Three of his colleagues — Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, Alex Mendez and Andre Sayegh — joined Tavarez’ demand for an investigation of the public works overtime spending during that month.
“We have to get to the bottom of this,” said Akhtaruzzaman, pointing out that the alleged spike in overtime happened during a “lame duck” period in city government. “Something went wrong there.”
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