Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Two New Suits Hit Hackensack

The sitting City Council ran on a platform of change.  They promised to put an end to political cronyism, the lawsuits, and to curb our astronomical legal fees.  In their two years since taking office, they have failed in each of these three areas.

Two new suits have now been added to the ever growing list of employees claiming retaliation.

Sanitation Worker Files Suit for Civil Rights Violations

Since taking office on July 1, 2013, Councilman David Sims has allegedly been on a power trip and taken it upon himself to meddle in the affairs of the Department of Public Works and Sanitation.  Sims came under fire after allegedly proclaiming to a female police officer that he was the "head nigga," and for utilizing business cards and the title "Police Commissioner" which according to one resident is a chargeable offense.  Many members of the Sanitation and Department of Public Works have come forward asking for Councilman Sims to stop meddling in their affairs and harassing them.

On July 1st, Carl Magby, a sanitation worker filed suit against the City of Hackensack claiming a violation of his civil rights.  Magby alleges that despite his not being involved in politics, Sims has identified him as a supporter of a different political group and he has since been reassigned to a position which significantly reduces his ability to secure overtime and has adversely affected his compensation.

Councilman Battaglia's Wife Gets 21% Raise.  Coworkers File Suit

Councilman Battaglia's wife is a clerk in the violations bureau of the municipal court.  In August of 2013 Councilman Battaglia's wife was given a $10,000 raise and a promotion to "Deputy Court Administrator."  Her promotion was later rescinded, but her raise remained.   After hell was raised by residents, the raise was rescinded, to later be restored by City Manager David Troast.

Today, Mrs. Battaglia's seven coworkers have filed a suit alleging that they have been retaliated against by virtue of this raise.  The suit alleges that despite the position being governed by civil service, Mrs. Battaglia makes $13,000 per year more than a counterpart in her identical job with similar seniority.  The seven coworkers suing the City allege that by choosing not to be involved in local politics (unlike Battaglia) they were retaliated against by not being awarded erroneous raises like Battaglia.

So who do we thank? Battaglia or Troast? After all, Troast exclaimed at a meeting that he gave Battaglia back her raise on his own accord, and not because he was asked ,or told, to.  But something tells me this new lawsuit won't get him canned.  Nor will the medical center debacle.  One would think this dud who was out of work for over a year before being hired by this council has 9 lives. Truth of the matter he has 2 years of unlimited lives.  I guess having a council who can't admit to another hiring mistake and go on to a 5th City Manager in their third year in office is the best job security you can get....